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Title: Pius IX. And His Time 

Author: The Rev. iEneas MacDonell 

Release Date: June 17, 2009 [Ebook 29143] 

Language: English 


Pius IX. 
And His Time 


The Rev. iEneas MacDonell 

Printed by Thos. Coffey, Catholic Record Printing House. 



Preface 2 

Pius IX. And His Time 3 

Footnotes 443 



The history of Pius IX. will always be read with interest. His 
Pontificate was, indeed, eventful. In no preceding age were the 
annals of the Church so grandly illustrated. 

The spiritual sovereignty, "with which," to use the words of 
a British statesman, "there is nothing on this earth that can at 
all compare," was crowned with surpassing glory. Doctrines 
which, hitherto, had been open to theological discussion, were 
ascertained and pronounced to be in accordance with the belief of 
all preceding Christian ages. The Church was enabled, through 
the labors of her Chief and the zeal of her Priesthood, to extend 
vastly the place of her tent. The life of Pius IX. himself was a 
marvel and a glory. None of his predecessors, not even Peter, 
attained to his length of days. 

On the other hand, the venerable Pontiff, and, together with 
him, the Catholic people, were doomed to behold and lament the 
loss of the time-honored patrimony of St. Peter. The Papacy, 
however, unlike all temporal sovereignties, was able to sustain 
so great a loss. More ancient than its temporal power, it still 
survives; "not a mere antique, but in undiminished vigor." 


Pius IX. And His Time. 

John Mary Count Mastai Ferreti was born at Sinigaglia, on the 
13th of May, 1792. At the age of twenty-two he came to Rome. 
Anxious to serve the Holy Father, and yet not aspiring to the 
priesthood, he resolved to become a member of the Noble Guard. 
This the delicate state of his health forbade. Repelled by the 
Prince Commandant, he sought counsel of the Pope. Pius VII. 
pronounced that his destiny was the Cross, and advised him 
to devote himself to the ecclesiastical state. The words of the 
Holy Father were, to the youthful Mastai, as a voice from on 
high. He decided for the Church, and, as if in testimony that his 
decision was ratified in heaven, the falling-sickness left him. His 
studies were more than ordinarily successful, and he already gave 
proof of those high qualities which were afterwards so greatly 
developed. The distinguished Canon Graniare, his professor, 
little dreaming of the exalted destiny which awaited him, held 
him up as a pattern of excellence to his fellow-students, saying 
that he possessed the heart of a Pope. 

Whilst yet a student, Mastai interested himself in an orphanage, 
which was founded by John Bonghi, a charitable mason of Rome. 
He spent in this institution the first seven years of his priesthood, 
devoting himself to the care of the orphans, who were, as yet, 
his only parishioners. The income which he derived from family 
resources was liberally applied in supplying the wants of these 
destitute children, and even in ministering to their recreation. [006] 

It now became his duty to accompany, as a missionary priest, 
Monsignore Mazi, who was appointed Vicar- Apostolic for Chili, 
Peru and Mexico. These countries had thrown off the yoke 
of Spain and adopted Republican forms of government. The 
Vicar- Apostolic and his companions suffered much in the course 

4 Pius IX. And His Time 

of their voyage to America. They were cast into prison, at the 
Island of Majorca, by Spanish officials, who took it amiss that 
Rome should hold direct relations with the rebellious subjects of 
their government. Their ship was attacked by corsairs, and was 
afterwards in danger from a storm. A single circumstance only 
need be mentioned in order to show what the faithful ministers 
of the Church had to endure when traversing the inhospitable 
steppes of the Pampas. Once, at night, they had no other shelter 
than a wretched cabin built with the bones of animals, which still 
emitted a cadaverous odour. 

In those arid deserts, they suffered from thirst as well as from 
dearth of provisions. Great results can only be attained by equally 
great labors. If, after a period of privation, the travellers enjoyed 
no more luxurious refreshment than the waters of the crystal 
brook, it might well be said, "de torrente in viabibet propterea 
exaltabit caput." (They shall be reduced to quench their thirst 
in the mountain stream, and therefore shall be exalted.) The 
delegates of the Holy Father were received with enthusiasm 
by the South American populations. Meanwhile, the narrow 
governments that were set over those countries raised so many 
difficulties that the mission was only partially successful. 

This mission, however, was not without benefit to the 
Reverend Count Mastai. It had been the means of developing 
the admirable qualities which he possessed. It had afforded him 
the opportunity of seeing many cities, as well as the manners 
and customs of many people. These lessons of travel were 
not addressed to an ordinary mind. His views were enlarged, 
elevated and refined by contact with so many rising or fallen 
civilizations, so many different nationalities, and by the spectacle 
[007] of Nature, that admirable handmaid of the Divinity, with her 

varied splendors and her manifold wonders, astonishing no less 
in the immensity of the ocean than in the vast forests of the New 

The mind appears to grow as the sphere of material life 

Pius IX. And His Time. 5 

extends. Vast horizons are adapted to great souls, and prepare 
them for great things. The Abbe Mastai had thus received in 
his youth two most salutary lessons, which are often wanting to 
the best-tried virtues of the sacerdotal state — the lesson of the 
world, which Mastai had received before the time of his vocation 
to Holy Orders, and the lessons of travel, which disengages the 
mind from the bondage of local prejudices. Both of these teachers 
he admirably understood. He had, indeed, drank of the torrent 
which exalts. 

Leo XII. now filled the Apostolic Chair. This Pontiff, highly 
appreciating the good sense and penetration of which Mastai 
had given proof in the difficult mission to Chili, appointed him 
Canon of Sancta Maria, Rome, in via lata, and, at the same time, 
conferred on him the dignity of Prelate. Never was the Roman 
purple more adorned by the learning and genuine virtue of him 
on whom it was bestowed. 

There is at Rome an institution of charity, the greatest which 
that city or even the world possesses, the immense hospital of St. 
Michael a Ripa Grande. A whole people dwells within its vast 
precincts. It is at once a place of retreat for aged and infirm men, 
a most extensive professional school for poor girls, and a sort of 
workshop, on a great scale, for children that have been forsaken. 
The greater number learn trades. Some, who give proof of higher 
talents, apply, at the expense of the hospital, to the study of the 
fine arts. This hospital is, in itself, a world, and its government 
requires almost the qualities of a statesman. Pope Leo XII., 
anxious to render available the rare abilities of Canon Mastai, 
named him President of the commission which governs this great 
establishment. There was need, at the time, so low was the state 
of the hospital budget, of the nicest management, unremitting 
care, and the highest financial capacity. These qualities were all [008] 
speedily at work, and in the course of two years all the resources 
of the institution were in admirable order. The fear of bankruptcy 
was removed, deficits of income made up, and receipts abundant. 

6 Pius IX. And His Time 

It had not been the custom to allow to apprentice-workmen any 
share in the fruits of their labors. Herein Mastai effected a great 
and certainly not uncalled-for reform. Far from impoverishing 
the hospital, this liberal measure only showed, by its happy 
results, that justice is in perfect harmony with economy, and that 
the best houses are not those which make the most of the labor 
of their inmates, but those which encourage industry by allowing 
it what is just. The orphans were thus, in two years, enabled to 
have a small sum, which secured to them, so far, a mitigation of 
their lot. Meanwhile, the proceeds of the hospital were doubled. 
This was remarkable success. Count Mastai's reputation for 
administrative ability was now of the highest order. 

In the Consistory of May 21st, 1827, Canon Count Mastai 
was named Archbishop of Spoleto. Thus did Pope Leo XII. 
signalize his solicitude and affection for the city of his birth. 
The appointment came not too soon. It required all the influence 
of a great mind to maintain peace at Spoleto. Party spirit ran 
high. One side clamored against abuses: the other, dreading all 
change, clung pertinaciously to the past. Wrath was treasured 
in every bosom. If civil war had not yet broken out, it raged 
already in the breasts of the people. Spoleto resembled two 
hostile camps, and vividly recalled the state of these cities of the 
Middle-Age, where stood in presence, and armed from head to 
heel, the undying enmities of the Ghibellins and the Guelphs. 
The slightest occasion would have sufficed to cause the hardly- 
suppressed embers of deadly strife to burst into a flame. Through 
the zeal and diplomacy of the Archbishop, such occasion was 
averted. Spoleto may yet remember, and not without emotion, 
how earnestly he studied to appease wild passions, with what 
delicacy and perseverance he labored to reconcile the terrible 
[009] feuds that prevailed, to calm the dire spirit of revenge, to bury 

the sense of wrong in the oblivion of forgiveness. At length, 
in 1831 and 1832, a hopeless rebellion unfurled its blood-red 
banner. It was speedily and pitilessly repressed. Such an occasion 

Pius IX. And His Time. 7 

only was wanting in order to show what one man can do when 
sustained by the power of virtue and the esteem of mankind. The 
foreign and Teutonic arm which conquered the insurrection had 
been always hateful to the Italian people; nor did its display and 
exercise of military force, in restoring tranquillity to the troubled 
State, conciliate their friendship. 

Only when vanquished did the rebels appear before the walls 
of Spoleto. In their extremity, they came to beg for shelter and 
for bread. In the estimation of the benevolent Archbishop, they 
were as lost sheep whom it was his duty, if possible, to save. He 
hastened, accordingly, to meet the wolf. The Austrian General, 
although a stern warrior, was, at the same time, the servant of a 
Christian Power. He listened to the Archbishop's remonstrances, 
and resolved to refrain from further military proceedings, the 
Prelate undertaking to disarm the rebels, and thus satisfy the sad 
requirements of war without any recourse to useless and hateful 
cruelties. Returning to the city, he addressed the insurgents, 
and, to his unspeakable satisfaction, they at once came to lay at 
his feet those arms which the Austrian soldiers could only have 
torn from their lifeless bodies. Thus did the good pastor, by 
disarming, save the rebellious flock. 

Mastai was now transferred to Imola. This city is less 
considerable than Spoleto. The diocese, however, is richer 
and more populous. Its Episcopal chair leads directly to the 
Cardinalate. It has also thrice given to the Catholic Church its 
Chief Pastor. The people of Spoleto sent a deputation, but in 
vain, to beseech the Holy Father to leave the good pastor to his 
affectionate flock. 

He was destined also to reign in the hearts of the good 
people of Imola. The numerous institutions there, which owe 
their existence to his Episcopal zeal and Christian charity, are [oio] 
monuments of his pastoral care. The virtue of which Archbishop 
Mastai was so bright a pattern had no sourness in it, no outward 
show of austerity; nor was it forbidding and intolerant, but sweet 

8 Pius IX. And His Time 

and gentle. Words of forgiveness were always on his lips, and 
his hand was ever open to distress. He labored assiduously to 
reform, wherever reform was needed, but, what rarely happens, 
without alienating affection from the reformer. It was his constant 
study to elevate the character of the clergy, and he ceased not 
to encourage among them learning as well as piety. Into the 
Diocesan Seminary, which was always the object of his most 
anxious care, he introduced some new branches of study, such 
as agriculture, practical as well as theoretical, and a general 
knowledge of the medical art. There was yet wanting to the 
clergy of his diocese a common centre where they could meet for 
mutual edification and instruction. To this purpose he devoted his 
own palace, and founded there a Biblical Academy. The members 
of this Academy met once a month in order to discuss together 
some subjects connected with the Sacred Writings. None can be 
ignorant how powerfully such meetings contribute to promote the 
study of the Scriptures, pulpit eloquence, and the great science 
of theology. In order, moreover, to obviate the dangers to which 
students were exposed, who, whilst they studied at the Seminary, 
were not inmates, and enjoyed not the safeguards of its discipline, 
he founded an institution called the "Convitto," where the poorer 
alumni were boarded without charge. 

Anxious also to provide for the comfort of the lowly poor, 
and to guard against all wasting of their humble means, the good 
Prelate reformed the hospital of Imola, and set over it the Sisters 
of Charity — that incomparable Order which owes its existence 
to the most benevolent of men, St. Vincent de Paul. Nor, in 
his higher state, did he forget his first care — the orphan. An 
orphanage at Imola is due to his munificence. There were no 
bounds to his liberality. At his own expense alone he repaired 
the tomb of St. Cassien, and decorated the Chapel of Our Lady 
[Oil] of Dolours in the Church of the Servites. 

When raised to the dignity of Cardinal, by Pope Gregory XVI., 
in December, 1840, Archbishop Mastai was already universally 

Pius IX. And His Time. 9 

popular. The ovations of a later period may have originated in 
political motives — may even have been promoted by a political 
party; but the honors now spontaneously heaped upon him were 
awarded to the man and the Christian pastor. Congratulations in 
prose and in verse, illuminations, fireworks, demonstrations of 
every kind, announced the joy with which the new Cardinal was 
welcomed everywhere. 

Gregory XVI. had the reputation of being highly conservative. 
In the true sense of the term, he really was so. Nevertheless, he 
was not averse to reform, and he showed that he was not when he 
elevated Archbishop Mastai, whose tendencies were well known, 
to the rank and office of Cardinal. More than this, in concurrence 
with the Great Powers of Europe, with whom he took counsel, he 
labored to introduce certain salutary reforms in his States. Such 
reforms, indeed, were needed; and the aged Pontiff resolved on 
them, not only in order to render unnecessary the intervention of 
foreign arms in the affairs of his government, but also with a view 
to bring his rule into harmony with the spirit and civilization of 
the age. If in this most laudable undertaking he did not succeed, 
he owed his failure to the Socialist party, those enemies of law 
and order, of property, and life even, whose fatal action at a 
later period marred the political career of Pius IX. The Roman 
people, generally, were capable of appreciating, and surely did 
appreciate, the enlightened efforts of their Pontiff Sovereign. 
They were not, as some writers would have us believe, in a semi- 
barbarous condition. Sylvio Pellico, whose testimony cannot be 
questioned, speaks of them in the following terms: "The eight 
months I have spent at Rome in 1 845 and 1 846 (time of Gregory 
XVI.) have abounded in delightful impressions. It can never 
be sufficiently told how well this venerable city deserves to be 
visited, and not in passing only. How the good and beautiful 
abound in it!" A little later, Pellico writes: "I continue to be quite 
delighted with Rome, both as regards men and things. In the [012] 
small book, Dei Doceri, I have shown my inclination to avoid 

10 Pius IX. And His Time 

being absolute in my judgments, a too common error, especially 
with minds that dogmatize passionately. By such Rome is often 
unjustly judged. 

"Several types of social customs must be considered as 
moderately good; and we cannot condemn, as decidedly bad, 
anything but barbarism, irreligion and a superabundance of 
knaves and fools. These odious elements are by no means 
over-abundant in this country. And in the midst of evils 
that are unavoidable everywhere, I observe great intellectual 
power, much goodness, cultivated minds, gracious and sincere 
generosity. Whoever comes to Rome will be morally well off as 
regards intelligence. He will be so, likewise, on account of the 
sociability of the inhabitants. The Romans are a jovial people. 
But even their joviality is as admirably subject to good order 
as it is graceful, and does not impair the natural goodness of 
their disposition. But perhaps I am wrong; and it were better I 
should assume a frowning aspect, and behold only attempts on 
life, importunate beggary, useless priests and monks, and reserve 
my praises for those happy nations where there are no crimes, 
no inequality of fortune, no misery. Impassioned men declaim, 
exaggerate, lie. For my part, I am neither an optimist nor a 
pessimist. It is impossible to speak with certainty of the moral of 
a country if we speak of it too soon. I know that here at Rome 
I find amiability, science and good sense. It seems to me that 
everything is much the same as in other civilized countries." 

Such was the people over whom, on the 16th day of June, 1846, 
Cardinal Mastai was called to exercise authority in the twofold 
capacity of Pontiff and Prince. On the first day of the Conclave 
several votes were cast for the liberal-minded Cardinal Gizzi, 
and some in favor of the highly-conservative Lambruschini. The 
second day all joined for Mastai. And thus was elected to the 
Papal Chair, by the unanimous voice of the Sacred College, one 
of their body, who, in all the positions which he had held, as 
[013] Priest, as Archbishop, as Cardinal, had shown his determination 

Pius IX. And His Time. 1 1 

to promote reform and improvement. No better proof could be 
required that the Cardinals perfectly understood the state of the 
country, its urgent wants, its relations with the Church and the 
rest of the world. 

There was much rejoicing in the Papal City. It seemed as if, 
with the elevation of a great character to high authority, the days 
of the Millennium had at length dawned on the distracted world. 
There was now question only of forgiveness for the past. Order 
and peace only were possible in time to come. The new Pontiff 
was resolved that there should be no element of sorrow to mar the 
general joy; and so he amnestied the political offenders who had 
borne arms against the government of his predecessor. Only one 
condition was required, viz. : that, in the future, they should fulfil 
the duties of good and order-loving subjects. Thus were fifteen 
hundred exiles restored to their families, who had lost all hope of 
ever seeing them again. The cases only of a small number of the 
ring-leaders of the rebellion were reserved for consideration, and 
they, too, were cheered with the hope of pardon. The preamble 
of the decree of amnesty, all in the Pope's own handwriting, bore 
the following words: 

"At the time when the public joy occasioned by our accession 
to the office of Sovereign Pontiff caused us to experience in 
our inmost soul the most lively emotion, we could not avoid 
entertaining a feeling of sorrow when we remembered that a 
great number of families amongst our people could not take part 
in the general rejoicing, deprived, as they were, of domestic 
happiness.... On the other hand, we cast a look of compassion on 
the numerous and inexperienced youth, which, although carried 
away by deceitful flatterers, in the midst of political troubles, 
appeared to us guilty rather of allowing itself to be led astray, 
than of deceiving others. On this account it was that, from that 
moment, we cherished the thought of extending a friendly hand, 
and offering peace to such of these dear but misguided children 
as should come to us, and give proof of their sincere repentance." [014] 

12 Pius IX. And His Time 

Night was drawing on when the decree was posted on the 
walls of Rome. It was observed, however, amidst the growing 
darkness; and no sooner was the word amnesty read than a cry of 
enthusiasm was heard. People hastened from their houses in all 
directions, the passers-by stopped in crowds to read, by torchlight, 
the cabalistic words. Among the fast-assembling masses there 
was but one feeling. They embraced and even wept for joy. In the 
depth of their emotion, and whilst yet, as may be said, intoxicated 
with delight, they sought how to express their gratitude. The 
cry was raised, "To the Quirinal!" Arrived there, they hailed, 
with loud and united voice, the beneficent Pontiff — "Vivat Pius 
Nonus!" "Long live our Holy Father!" Crowd after crowd thus 
approached the person of the Pope. It was now late, and Pius IX., 
much fatigued, overwhelmed by his emotions, had withdrawn to 
the silence of his Oratory. Meanwhile, fresh crowds of overjoyed 
citizens were pressing forward. Ten thousand men, at least, 
were now waiting, with respectful anxiety, under the walls of the 
Quirinal Palace. The French Ambassador to Rome, Count Rossi, 
was a witness of these events. He became also their historian. He 
wrote thus to M. Guizot: 

"Suddenly the acclamations are redoubled. I had not yet 
understood on what account, when some one called my attention 
to the light which was shining through the window-blinds at the 
farthest end of the Pontifical Palace. The people had observed 
that the Holy Father was traversing the apartment in order to reach 
the balcony. It was speedily thrown open, and the Sovereign 
Pontiff, in a white robe and scarlet mantle, made his appearance, 
surrounded by torches. If your Excellency (M. Guizot, at that 
time Minister of the French King, Louis Philippe) will only 
figure to yourself a magnificent place, a summer night, the sky 
of Rome, an immense people moved with gratitude, weeping 
for joy and receiving with love and reverence the benediction of 
their Pastor and their Prince, you will not be astonished, if I add 
that we have shared the general emotion, and have placed this 

Pius IX. And His Time. 13 

spectacle above every thing that Rome had as yet offered to our [015] 
contemplation. Just as I had foreseen, as soon as the window was 
closed the crowd withdrew peacefully and in perfect silence. You 
would have called them a people of mutes; they were satisfied." 

It is not so difficult to grant an amnesty. It is delightful, even, 
to men of the character of Pius IX. to dispense forgiveness. This 
is particularly the office and the privilege of the Church. Sterner 
duties devolve upon the statesman. And, however reconcileable 
the two courses of conduct in public affairs may really be, it is 
difficult often to reconcile them. 

The amnesty, although far from being everything, was, 
nevertheless, a beginning, and one of favorable omen. The furrow 
was opened, to use the language of M. Rossi, and no doubt the 
ploughing would proceed. Many formidable difficulties must, 
however, be surmounted. On the one hand, stood the influence of 
the old feudal Conservative party, which frowned on the slightest 
change. On the other, were the Socialists, who aimed at the 
destruction of every existing institution — in whose estimation 
property even was not sacred, nor life itself. It was necessary, 
meanwhile, to improve the condition of the people, and, in 
doing so, to guard against anarchy. By wise and well-considered 
reforms only could the growth and advance of revolution be 
discouraged and stayed, whilst apolitical system, almost entirely 
new, came to be firmly established. For this purpose, it was 
necessary that there should prevail in the Pontifical States a 
sounder state of opinion. This was not the work of a single 
day. It was necessary, nevertheless, as the people could not 
be safely led by their ever-changing emotions. Based on such 
quicksands, the government of the Holy Father could have no 
stability, and it was his aim so to form it that it should be able 
to keep its ground without the aid of foreign arms. The state of 
Italy, the peculiar position of the Pontifical States, the character 
of modern civilization, the spirit of the age — all conspired to 
produce new wants, and, at the same time, made it a matter of 

14 Pius IX. And His Time 

[016] the greatest difficulty to meet them. "This difficulty," writes 

the Spanish Sage, Balmes, "it was impossible to surmount by 
chanting patriotic hymns any more than by having recourse to 
Austrian bayonets." 

By none was this better understood than by Pius IX. The study 
of State affairs was not new to him. He had considered and 
lamented the condition of things which so often brought upon his 
country foreign invasion, the horrors of war, and punishments 
without end, inflicted on his fellow-citizens. It is related even 
that he prepared and presented to Gregory XVI. a programme of 
reforms, which he believed would bring the necessary remedy. 
Now that he was at the head of the State, he believed that the 
responsibility devolved on him of introducing such reforms as 
were called for by the exigency of the time, and by which alone 
he was persuaded the evils which oppressed the country could 
be brought to an end. It was not possible, as yet, to inaugurate 
any general measure of reform. In the meantime, however, the 
rule of the Pontiff was characterized by wise, just, humane and 
liberal acts, which could not fail to pave the way for the greater 
improvements which he meditated. Among these lesser, but by 
no means unimportant, reforms may be mentioned the abolition 
of an odious law which had long disgraced the legislation of so 
many Christian nations. The punishment by imprisonment for 
petty debts was, in the estimation of Pius IX., as unjust as it was 
cruel and hateful. It answered no better purpose, for the most part, 
than the gratification of private spite. By a generous contribution 
from his own funds, the Pope threw open the prisons of the 
Capitol. He set a great example, which could not fail to promote 
the cause of virtue whilst it relieved the indigent, by distributing 
twelve thousand Roman ecus, in the form of dowries, among 
the young women of poor families, whose poverty rendered an 
honorable settlement extremely difficult. He also encouraged 
collections in favor of such of the amnestied parties as were 
in need. His financial reforms were more important. And by 

Pius IX. And His Time. 15 

these he won a title to the gratitude of the State. The public [017] 
revenue was alarmingly deficient. Only by some great change 
could ruin be averted. First of all, he proposed that his faithful 
clergy should make a sacrifice; and every convent engaged to 
pay ten scudi yearly, and every parish priest a scudo during 
three consecutive years. He himself set the example of the most 
rigid economy by reducing the scale of his establishment. He 
at the same time retrenched those rich sinecures which were, 
so to say, engrafted on the temporalities of the Papacy. What 
was well worthy of a great statesman, he showed the most 
enlightened sympathy for all the sciences which contribute to the 
material and intellectual well-being of the populations, such as 
physiology, natural history, political economy and mathematics. 
Nor was he unwilling that his people should avail themselves of 
the knowledge of foreigners. He went so far as to intimate his 
intention to re-establish the celebrated Scientific Academy, Di 

He could not, as yet, by any other than such isolated acts as 
these, evince the elevated and liberal tendencies of his mind, 
in which were blended boldness with moderation, and views of 
reform with all that became his position, and was adapted to the 
wants of the country and the age. 

Pius IX., although not a constitutional sovereign, and unable 
so to constitute himself, was anxious, nevertheless, to give to 
his people all the benefits of constitutional government. A first 
step was to choose a popular Minister, and Cardinal Gizzi was 
called to the counsels of the State. This Cardinal was beloved 
at Rome, and not undeservedly. When Legate at Forli, he had 
opposed the establishment of an arbitrary court, and thus won 
for himself the sympathies of all national reformers. His loyalty, 
sincerity and patriotism were well known; nor was he wanting 
in any other quality of the statesman. Of a patient and enquiring 
mind, he was incapable of coming hastily to a decision; but, 
when once resolved, he could not be easily diverted from his 

16 Pius IX. And His Time 

purpose. The ministry of such a man was full of promise; but 
[018] in this lay its weakness. It held out hopes which, in the state 

of parties which at that time prevailed, it was unable to realize. 
There were two great parties at Rome, with neither of which the 
Gizzi ministry was in sympathy. There existed no party with 
which it could act harmoniously. There were no reformers. It 
would have been most fortunate for Pius IX. if such a party could 
have been formed, but the elements were wanting. The true idea 
of constitutional government was as little understood in Italy as 
in the rest of continental Europe. The only party at Rome who 
desired change were the Socialists, who identified reform with 
subversion, who denied every right, and sought the destruction 
of all existing institutions. No wonder if, in presence of such 
a faction, the aristocracy, so highly conservative, dreaded and 
opposed all change. The Socialists, whilst by the fear which 
they inspired strengthened the hands of the conservative party, 
opposed and prevented the formation of a body of reformers 
who, like Gizzi and Pius IX., would have labored intelligently 
to forward the cause of reform, never losing sight of the great 
principles of humanity and justice, never sacrificing to Utopian 
theories inalienable rights, above all the rights of property — the 
very groundwork of the social fabric. Without the aid and 
countenance of a body of reformers, the able ministry that now 
surrounded the Pope found it difficult to proceed. They could not 
determine for any important constitutional change. They could 
not even undertake any considerable improvement. 

They were, however, not inactive. They studied to 
educate the people by improving and extending the public 
schools, and by what was, indeed, an advance in continental 
Europe — establishing a periodical press. 

There were few cities so highly favored as Rome as regards 
the facilities for educating youth. Nevertheless, there was room 
for improvement, and Pius IX. accordingly established in the city 
a central school for the instruction of the youth of the operative 

Pius IX. And His Time. 17 

classes. This was a school of arts and manufactures, and, at 
the same time, a military institution, in which the pupils were [019] 
qualified to become either tradesmen or subordinate officers in 
the army. Whilst Cardinal Gizzi was Minister many other useful 
schemes met the approbation of the Pontiff, and were sanctioned 
by his signature. 

Not a few commissions also were appointed — some for the 
study of railway communication in the Roman States, others for 
the improvement of both criminal and civil procedure, and others 
for the amelioration of the municipal system and the repression 
of vagrancy. 

Rome, so richly endowed in many respects, could scarcely be 
said, as yet, to possess a periodical press. To establish such a 
press was, for the reforming ministry, a labor of love. Whilst they 
were preparing a law by which it should be called into existence 
and its liberty secured and regulated, Pius IX., in anticipation of 
their labors, authorized the publication of several journals. First, 
came the "Contemporaneo," which was followed in due time by 
the "Bilancia," the "Italico," the "Alba." These publications were 
in sympathy, at first, with the Pontiff and his reforming ministry. 
They advocated only rational reform, real improvement, such 
changes as were both practicable and useful. They had not 
yet discovered the excellence of the Socialist Utopia. Their 
enthusiasm and their vivats were all for the reformer Pope. 

It is far from being matter of surprise to Catholic people, 
at least, that the See of Rome should be the first to practice 
the virtues — the high morality which it teaches. In regard 
to their treatment of the Jewish people, the Christian nations 
generally stood in need of such an example as Papal Rome has 
always shown in her consideration for the race of Israel. The 
nations, although professing Christianity, have been anything 
but Christian in their conduct towards these people. It was 
their idea, one would say, that they were called of heaven to 
execute justice on an offending race. The Popes never believed 

18 Pius IX. And His Time 

that they or any other Christians were entrusted with such a 
mission. Accordingly, the Jews, when cruelly persecuted in 
[020] other countries, always found protection and safety at Rome 

under the wing of the Pope. Even such restrictions as they 
were subject to, contributed to maintain them in security and 
peace. The Holy Father, although it was his sublime mission 
to preach the Gospel, could not always cause its precepts to be 
obeyed. If prejudice was against living on terms of charity with 
the Jews, was it not kind, as well as wise and politic, to assign 
to them a quarter of the city where only they should dwell, free 
from all interference on the part of the rest of the inhabitants? 
Pius IX. believed that the time had come when a more liberal 
arrangement might be advantageously adopted. In pursuance 
of this conviction, he regulated that the Jews should enjoy the 
privilege of establishing their habitations wherever they should 
deem it most suitable, that they should be governed by the same 
laws as the other citizens, and in no way be treated as a foreign 
people. Such of them as stood in need of assistance Pius IX. 
admitted to a share in his benefactions, and without occasioning 
the slightest murmur on the part of his Christian subjects. 

The Jews, whilst considered as foreigners in Rome, were 
subject to the custom of coming yearly to the Capitol to pay 
tribute. With this custom the Holy Father generously dispensed. 
All this liberality and kindness were highly appreciated. The 
Jewish people generally beheld in the wise and Holy Pontiff 
the looked-for Messiah. The aged Rabbins, more considerate, 
affirmed only that the Pope was a great prophet. The chief of 
the Synagogue, Moses Kassan, composed in his honor a canticle 
marked by poetic inspiration. It extols and blesses the Holy 
Father for having gathered together in the same barque all the 
children whom God had confided to his care ... for having 
snatched from the contempt of nations, and sheltered under his 
wing, a persecuted people. 

There being many Christians of the United Greek rite 

Pius IX. And His Time. 19 

throughout the dominions of the Sultan, it was necessary that the 
Holy Father should negotiate, occasionally, with the successor of 
Mahomet. Pius IX. yielded not to any of his predecessors in zeal [021] 
for the welfare of all Catholic people. Those who lived and often 
suffered under the Moslem yoke were, especially, objects of his 
fatherly solicitude. Policy had not yet brought the Cross into 
the same field of strife in union with the Crescent, when, on the 
20th of February, 1847, the portals of the Quirinal were thrown 
open to the Ambassador of the Sublime Porte. To the Jews the 
Rome of Pius IX. was as a new Jerusalem. Islamism, from its 
tottering throne at Constantinople, looked towards it with hope 
and rapture. 

The armed protection of Christians in the Turkish dominions, 
by the great European Powers, was, no doubt, galling to the 
Sultan's court. It was, therefore, ardently desired, we can readily 
believe, to place the Christians of the Levant under the peaceful 
guardianship of the Roman Pontiff. The Embassy may also have 
had other objects in view. Be this as it may, it was new and quite 
extraordinary to behold the representative of the prophet at the 
palace of the Sovereign Pontiff. No wonder if all Europe was 
moved to admiration. The presentation was very solemn — in 
the high ceremonial of Eastern lands. Chekif Effendi, the 
Turkish Ambassador, saluted the Holy Father in Oriental style, 
and addressed to him a magnificent oration, which was richly 
interspersed with metaphors — the pearls and diamonds of his 
country's eloquence. The Sublime Porte was compared to the 
Queen of Sheba, and Pius IX. to King Solomon. Whatever may 
be thought of the figures, the sentiments expressed in the speech 
were appropriate and affecting. The Pope replied by assuring the 
Ambassador that he was anxious to cultivate friendly relations 
with the Sultan, his master. Three days later Chekif Effendi took 
his departure from Rome, bearing with him on his breast, as a 
nishun (decoration), the portrait of the Holy Father. 

This Embassy was more than mere show — more than an 

20 Pius IX. And His Time 

interchange of friendly sentiments. It enabled the Pope to adopt 
a measure which was calculated to be highly beneficial to the 
Christians of the East. The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem was 
[022] restored. And thus was accomplished a wonderful revolution 

in European diplomacy as regarded the Eastern world. At the 
request of the Porte, the Latin Patriarch became bound to reside 
in the city of Jerusalem. In the confidential position which he 
held there, he was the natural protector of the Catholic subjects 
of the Sultan. In addition to the duties of his sacred office, he 
was, as a consul, appointed by the Holy See to watch over the 
interests of religion — interests as important, surely, as those of 
trade and worldly policy. The first whom the Pope named to 
the dignity of Latin Patriarch was Monsignore Valergo, who had 
formerly been a missionary at Paris. 

There appears to have been something irresistibly attractive 
in the character of Pius IX. That illustrious champion of Ireland 
and of liberty, Daniel O'Connell, resolved, towards the close of 
his days, to visit Rome and pay the homage of a kindred spirit to 
the Holy Father. Not only was he anxious to be enriched with the 
choicest heavenly benedictions, whilst kneeling reverently at the 
shrine of the Apostles, but he desired also, with a fervor which 
finds place only in the most nobly-moulded souls, whose love 
of liberty and whose patriotism are unfeigned and pure, to hold 
communion with one who was, no less than himself, a friend 
of liberty, and whose exalted station, and whose high duties 
towards mankind at large, hindered him not from laboring, as did 
Ireland's patriot, to liberate his country, not, indeed, from such 
cruel bondage as that under which the land of O'Connell had for 
so many ages groaned, but from the no less dangerous tyranny 
of abuses which, like weeds that grow most luxuriantly in the 
richest soil, it becomes necessary, in due season, to extirpate. 

It was not, however, appointed that Ireland's liberator should 
ever see Rome. His illness continued to increase. No sooner 
had he reached the shores of Italy than the strength of his once 

Pius IX. And His Time. 21 

powerful frame declined rapidly, and he was unable to proceed. 
Arrived at Genoa, O'Connell understood that his last hour on 
earth was near at hand. He now expressed the wish that his 
heart should rest in the Holy City. Thither, accordingly, it [023] 
was borne by friendly hands to commingle with the consecrated 
dust of heroes, saints and martyrs. To Rome it was a relic of 
incomparable price. Although cold and inanimate, it was still 
eloquent in death, and grandly emblematic of all that he had 
been to whom it was the centre of life, and to whose generous 
impulses it had so long and so faithfully beat responsive. 

That son of O'Connell who bore his name, together with the 
Rev. Dr. Miley, of Dublin, who had accompanied him to Genoa 
and ministered to him in his last hours, now proceeded to Rome 
and sought the presence of the Holy Father. On their arrival 
at the Quirinal, the halls and ante-chambers were already filled 
with groups of personages in every style of costume, from the 
glittering uniform to the cowl. The travellers, therefore, must 
wait till all these have had an audience. But no. The name of 
O'Connell, as if possessed of talismanic power, caused them to 
be at once admitted to the presence of the Holy Father. The 
reception was most cordial. "Since the happiness I had so much 
longed for," said the Pontiff, "was not reserved for me, to behold 
and embrace the hero of Christianity, let me, at least, have 
the consolation to embrace his son." "As he spoke," writes Dr. 
Miley, "he drew the son of O'Connell to his bosom and embraced 
him, not unmoved, with the tenderness of a father and a friend. 
Then, with an emotion which stirred our hearts within us, this 
great Father of the faithful poured out his benign and loving soul 
in words of comfort, which proved that it was not new to him 
to pour the balm of heaven into broken and wounded hearts." 
"His death," said the Pontiff, "was blessed. I have read the 
letter in which his last moments were described with the greatest 
consolation." The Pope then proceeded to eulogize the liberator, 
as the great champion of religion and the Church, as the father 

22 Pius IX. And His Time 

of his people and the glory of the whole Christian world. "How 
else," observed Monsignore Cullen, late Cardinal Archbishop of 
Dublin, who was present, "could the Pope have spoken of him 
[024] than he has done, even if he had been the bosom friend of the 

liberator, as well as the ardent admirer of his career." Nor must 
we fail to record the terms in which the venerable Pontiff, on 
this memorable occasion, referred to Ireland. The thought of 
O'Connell was one with that of his native Erin. Death, even, 
could not sever them. Whilst the living image of grief and 
bereavement stood in his presence, the Holy Father could not 
refrain from giving expression to his paternal sympathy. But, 
at the same time, the country of O'Connell was not forgotten. 
Writes Dr. Miley: "While he spoke of the sufferings of the Irish, 
of their fidelity, of his solicitude and his hopes regarding them, 
it was beautiful and impressive beyond my power to describe, 
to observe that countenance, which, like a mirror, reflects the 
charity, the compassionate care, the fortitude, with a hundred 
other sentiments divine, which are never dormant within his 

Pius IX., anxious that due honor should be done to the memory 
of O'Connell, gave orders for the celebration of a solemn funeral 
service, and intimated his will and command that it should be 
celebrated in his name. "The achievements also of his wonderful 
existence I desire to be commemorated and made known to the 
world" — not that this is necessary, "because," said the Pontiff 
with a sublime look and gesture, "his grand career was ever in 
the face of heaven — he always stood up for legality — he had 
nothing to hide; and it was this, with his unshaken fidelity and 
reverence for religion, that secured his triumph." It is only justice 
to the people of Rome to state that they vied with the Sovereign 
Pontiff, the magnates of their country and the representatives 
of European nations at the Holy City, in doing honor to the 
memory of O'Connell. "From the Campus Martius," writes Dr. 
Miley, "and the Roman Forum, from both sides of the Tiber, 

Pius IX. And His Time. 23 

and from all the seven hills and their interjacent valleys, this 
people, who grow up from infancy with the trophies of thirty 
centuries of greatness around them on every hand, assembled 
with enthusiasm to supplicate heaven for the eternal happiness of 
Ireland's liberator, and to exult in the wonders he had achieved, 
as if he had been their own." The greatest homage paid by [025] 
Rome on this melancholy occasion, was undoubtedly, the funeral 
oration, which was spoken by the Bossuet of Italy, the celebrated 
preacher, Father Ventura, the friend and fellow-student of Pius 
IX. This most eloquent discourse was listened to with attention 
and delight by the vast congregation that had gathered round 
the cenotaph of the immortal patriot. Let a passage or two here 
suffice to give an idea of the magnificent panegyric: 

"It is, then, because these two loves — the love of religion 
and the love of liberty, common to all good Princes, to all 
great minds, to all truly learned men, to all elevated souls, to 
all generous hearts might be said to be personified in Daniel 
O'Connell — because in him they manifested themselves in all 
the perfection of their nature — in all the energy of their deeply- 
felt conviction — in all the potency of their strength — in all the 
splendor of their magnificence, and in all the glory of their 
triumph; it is because of all this that this singular man — who 
was born and has lived at such a distance from Rome — is now 
admired, is now wept for by you, as if he had been born in the 
midst of you. Hence it is that this great character, this sublime 
nature, has awakened all your sympathies." 

O'Connell had studied for some time at the College of St. 
Omer, in France. What he saw and learned in that country is ably 
described by the Italian orator: 

"He saw with his own eyes monarchy compelled to degrade 
itself, and to inflict its death-wound with its own hand; he saw the 
throne that base courtiers had dragged through the mire defiled by 
the grip of parricidal hands, and buried, fathoms deep, beneath a 
sea of blood; he saw the best of kings expire upon a scaffold, the 

24 Pius IX. And His Time 

victim not less of other men's crimes than of his own weakness; 
he saw that vice was hailed, as if it were virtue, wickedness 
uplifted, as if it were morality atheism, proclaimed aloud, as 
if it were religion; that the 'Goddess of Reason' (or rather a 
vile strumpet) was recognized as the only Deity, and honored 
[026] with hecatombs of human victims; the people decimated and 

oppressed by cruel tyrants, in the name of the people; whilst 
beneath the shade of the tree of liberty was instituted universal 
slavery; and that the most Christian, as well as the most civilized 
of all nations, had fallen down to the lowest limits of impiety and 

"Now, God having so disposed that the young O'Connell 
should be witness of these events — the most celebrated and the 
most instructive to be found in the annals of history — they served 
to inspire him with the greatest horror for tumults and rebellion; 
they persuaded him that there is nothing more insane, and, at 
the same time, more pernicious than to proclaim the rights of 
man, in trampling upon those of heaven — in establishing liberty 
on the ruins of religion — in making laws, under the dictation 
of passion, or through the inspiration of sacrilege — and, finally, 
they convinced him, that to regenerate a people, religion is 
omnipotent — philosophy of little or no avail." 

In alluding to the well-known piety of O'Connell, the preacher 
said: "What more moving spectacle than to see the greatest man in 
the United Kingdom — to see him, who was the object of Ireland's 
devotion, of England's fear, and of the world's admiration, 
kneeling with the people before the altar, practicing the piety of 
the people, with that humble simplicity, that recollection, that 
devoutness, and that modesty, which supercilious science and 
stolid pride abandon as things fit only to be followed by those 
whom they disdain as the people?" 

It is matter of notoriety that the Tory party, whose death- 
knell was soon to be tolled, constantly poured on the great Irish 
Tribune the most scurrilous abuse. One of the mock titles with 

Pius IX. And His Time. 25 

which they honored him was that of "King of the Beggars." 
Such pitiful ribaldry awakened the highest powers of the Roman 
orator. "Poor, miserable, and most pitiful fatuity which, while 
intending to mock, actually did him honor. For, what sovereignty 
is more beautiful than that whose tribute is not wrung from 
unwilling fear, but that is a voluntary, love-inspired offering? 
What sovereignty is more glorious than that whose sword is the [027] 
pen, and whose only artillery the tongue; whose only couriers 
are the poor, and its sole bodyguard the affections of the people? 
What sovereignty more beneficent than that which, far from 
causing tears to flow, dries them; which, far from shedding 
blood, stanches it; which, far from immolating life, preserves it; 
which, far from pressing down upon the people, elevates them; 
which, far from forging chains, breaks them; and which always 
maintains order, harmony and peace, without ever inflicting the 
slightest aggression on liberty? Where is the monarch who 
would not esteem himself happy in reigning thus? Of such a 
sovereignty, we may with truth say what was said of Solomon's, 
that none can equal its grandeur, its glory and its magnificence." 

So favorable an opportunity for instructing the Italians was not 
thrown away. False liberty was already strewing their path with 
its meretricious allurements. "As true liberty diffuses around 
it peace and grace and calm, so does false liberty disseminate, 
wherever it is implanted, terror, dismay and horror. The brows of 
one are illuminated with the splendid halo of order, and those of 
the other are covered with the red cap of anarchy. One holds in 
her hand the olive-branch of peace; the other waves the torch of 
discord. One is arrayed in robes white as those of innocence, and 
the other is enveloped in the dark, blood-stained mantle of guilt. 
One is the prop of thrones; the other a yawning abyss beneath 
them. One is the glory and the happiness of nations; the other 
their disgrace and their punishment. The latter bursts out of hell 
as if it were a poisonous blast issuing from the jaws of the devil 
himself; whilst true liberty descends sweetly and gently upon the 

26 Pius IX. And His Time 

earth, as if the spirit of God had sent it down to us a holy and 
blessed thing from heaven. Ubi spiritus Domini ibi Libertas." 

None will be surprised to learn that on hearing these singularly 
eloquent words, the immense auditory could no longer control 
[028] their emotions. A general murmur of approbation was heard 

throughout the vast temple and was breaking out into loud 
applause, when the preacher, mindful of the reverence due to the 
holy place, made haste to repress it. 

This great demonstration may well be considered as the best 
testimony that could be given as to the real sentiments of the 
Italian people. They were not ignorant of the nature of that liberty 
for which O'Connell had so long and successfully contended. Nor 
were they under any erroneous impression as to what the gifted 
preacher meant when he extolled in such glowing terms that 
true liberty which is the glory, at once, and the best security of 
nations. If, a little later, they pursued the phantom instead of the 
reality, it must be considered that, as yet, they had no political 
education or experience, and that no high-principled Tribune, 
like O'Connell, stood forward to lead them. All who aspired to 
guide them, and who won their confidence, were tainted with the 
doctrines of the Socialist party, whose ideas of government and 
liberty were utterly Utopian. 

If it could be said that public rejoicings afforded any assistance 
to the Pope, in his labors as the head of the Roman State, 
he was not left without aid in his great undertakings. Such 
things, however, rather hindered than promoted his endeavors. 
His people had, so to say, commenced, under his auspices, 
a long and laborious journey. There was no time for mere 
pleasure and amusement. Nevertheless, whenever a new scene 
or landscape opened to their view, they stopped to rejoice, 
and gave themselves up, without control, to the intoxication of 
delight. In so doing they laid themselves open to the snares 
and attacks of many secret enemies, who availed themselves of 
their frequent gatherings to sow the seeds of discord and corrupt 

Pius IX. And His Time. 27 

their minds with false political doctrines. Far better would it 
have been if they had left to the Sovereign in whom, at first, 
they placed unbounded confidence, and the wise Ministers whom 
he called to his counsels, the care of forwarding the cause of 
reform. It had been most benevolently and successfully begun, 
and was proceeding, in the estimation of all but an impatient [029] 
people, with rapidity which had no parallel in the history of 
nations. The people, by assembling tumultuously on occasion 
of every popular measure, no doubt meant no more at first than 
to show gratitude and affection to their pastor and prince. Such 
meetings, however, were not without danger to the cause of 
reform. The political enemies of the Pope easily foresaw that, 
by his wise and popular improvements in the State, he would 
certainly secure to himself a peaceful, strong and glorious reign. 
So, laying hold of the general enthusiasm, they trained and 
disciplined to their will a people who were naturally good and 
unsuspecting. These men came at length to give the watchword, 
and, according to their wishes and the views which it suited them 
to insinuate into the popular mind, the uneducated and fickle 
multitude expressed satisfaction or discontent, as they defiled 
in imposing masses before the mansion of the Pontiff. Thus 
was formed a sort of government out of doors, which, if it did 
not yet oppose or appear to oppose at least, powerfully swayed 
the official authority. Cardinal Gizzi, whose ministry was so 
popular, deemed it necessary to require by proclamation that 
these noisy demonstrations should cease. It was too late. The 
people, defying the Cardinal's mandate, hastened in crowds to 
the Quirinal, saluted, as usual, the Pope with enthusiastic vivats, 
expressing, at the same time, their detestation of his ministry, 
which they were wont to applaud so loudly, and which, if it had 
not by any great activity done much to acquire, had certainly done 
nothing to forfeit their favor. "Viva Pio Nonol Pio Nono Solo!" 
was now their cry. The Pope himself next came to be considered 
as intolerably dilatory in preparing measures of reform. Nor 

28 Pius IX. And His Time 

did he escape the accusation, at the same time, of sacrificing to 
his zeal, as a temporal ruler, the higher duties which he owed 
to religion and the Church. According to one set of revilers, 
he was breaking with inviolable tradition. Others insisted that 
so enthusiastic a reformer of the State must be a revolutionist 
in the Church. Such attacks were met by anticipation in the 
[030] Encyclical of 9th November, 1846. This well-known document 

was received with applause by the civilized world. It leaves 
no ground for the charges in question. It would only destroy 
the Church to pretend to reform its dogma and revolutionize its 
discipline and government. Such an idea could proceed from 
no other source than the stratagems of unbelief, or from the 
snares of the wolf, who, in sheep's clothing, seeks to insinuate 
himself into the fold. It is nothing short of sacrilege to hold that 
religion is susceptible of progress or improvement, as if it were a 
philosophical discovery, which could advance with the march of 
science. The Holy Father enumerates also in this Encyclical the 
principal grounds of faith, and exhorts all bishops to oppose with 
all their zeal and learning those who, alleging progress as their 
motive, perversely endeavor to destroy religion by subjecting it 
to every man's individual judgment. He condemns indifference 
as regards religion, eloquently defends ecclesiastical celibacy, 
and, mindful that the Church is the teacher of the great as well as 
of the humble, he enforces the obligations of sovereigns towards 
their subjects, not forgetting the fulfilment of all the duties which 
the people owe to their rulers. In a former Encyclical, Pius 
IX. had expressed his predilection for the religious orders. This 
expression was now renewed. Time may have interfered, more 
or less, with their discipline. Anxious to preserve them and 
promote their prosperity, he was ever willing to correct such 
abuses as may have existed. To some communities he offered the 
most admirable suggestions. Others he honored with personal 
visits, evincing always a truly pastoral zeal for the well-being of 
institutions so precious to religion. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 29 

Pius IX., although deeply occupied with affairs of State that 
would have commanded all the attention and energy of any 
ordinary mind, found time, nevertheless, for the discharge of 
duties of a still higher order. He never forgot that he was the 
Bishop as well as the Sovereign of Rome. The Romans, although 
inhabiting the Holy City, like all other people, stood in need of 
the instructions and warnings of religion. The Pope was aware, [031] 
besides, that bad habits prevailed, such as profane swearing, 
luxurious living, the neglect of parents in the training of their 
children. The knowledge of such things grieved him exceedingly. 
He now resolved to have recourse to a measure which was as 
striking as it was unexpected. In the trying days of the Crusaders, 
and moved by their zeal for the safety of Christendom, the 
Popes of an earlier time had addressed, as the ministers of God, 
immense public assemblages. No Pope, however, had appeared 
in the pulpit since Gregory VII. The Church of St. Andrew, 
where the eloquent Father Ventura was accustomed to preach, 
was selected, but, lest there should be too great a crowd, no 
notice of the Pope's intention was published. At half-past three 
o'clock on a Sunday afternoon, just as the congregation were 
expecting to see Abbate Ventura enter the church, the Pope 
himself made his appearance. The sermon was not a long one; 
but it was memorable, and to be long remembered. "In this 
city," said the Holy Father, "which is the centre of Catholicity, 
there are men who insult the holy name of God by profane and 
blasphemous language. On all those who now hear me I lay 
this charge: publish everywhere that I have no hope for such 
men. They cast in the face of Heaven the stone which will, 
one day, recoil upon them and crush them. I would also most 
earnestly exhort you as regards the duty of fasting. Many fathers 
and mothers come to me in order to impart to me the sorrow 
which they experience in considering the melancholy fact which 
cannot escape their observation, that the demon of uncleanness 
exercises a destructive empire over the youth of Rome. Our Lord 

30 Pius IX. And His Time 

Himself in the Holy Gospel assures us that, by no other means 
than prayer and fasting, is it possible to overcome this demon 
who poisons the sources of life and works the ruin of immortal 
souls." The sermon, although comparatively short, spoke of the 
chief obligations of a Christian life. It was delivered with great 
unction, and the Holy Father concluded with a fervent prayer for 
Rome and the Roman State. "Look down upon this vine, O Lord, 
[032] which Thy right hand hath planted! Look upon it in mercy, and 

remove from it the hand of iron which weighs so heavily upon 
it. Pour into the bosoms of the rising generations those two most 
precious attributes of youth, — modesty and a teachable mind. 
Listen to my prayer, O Lord, and bestow upon this congregation, 
on this city and all people, Thy most precious blessings." 

Appropriate gesticulations added to the power of words. 
Another influence, also, came in aid, — an influence peculiar 
to Pius IX., — that indescribable expression of goodness which 
lighted up his countenance as he spoke. The people, whose 
feelings are naturally fine, were moved even to tears and sighs. 
The occasion itself was well calculated to move the minds of a 
Catholic audience. It was an element, no doubt, which, together 
with the eloquence of the preacher, and the power of apostolic 
preaching, could not fail to produce a profound impression. And, 
indeed, the whole congregation were filled with enthusiasm. 

Whilst thus finding consolation in the exercise of his sublime 
ministry, the benevolent Pontiff was destined to encounter 
formidable attacks on the part of political opponents. On the 
one hand, the ultra-Conservatives, who held in abomination the 
mere idea of reform, endeavored by every means to confound in 
the popular mind the beneficial measures which the Pope was 
introducing into the economy of the State, with radical changes 
in the most essential points of religion itself. The Socialists, 
on the other hand, studied to excite the people and increase 
their impatience by misrepresenting all the acts of the ministry, 
and causing it to be believed that, by the delay which was 

Pius IX. And His Time. 3 1 

unavoidable in labors of such magnitude and importance, they 
were only abusing the confidence of the sovereign and betraying 
the cause of reform. Some remains of chivalry might have been 
expected in the ranks of the high Conservative party. But, alas! 
too truly the age of chivalry was gone, and these sticklers for 
the usages of a bygone age, only showed by their modes of [033] 
proceeding that they clung to an empty and inanimate form of 
things from which life and substance had departed. As was 
related at the time, they stepped down to the depths of calumny 
and published a cruel libel, in which the Holy Father was held 
up to the scorn of all right-thinking men as an "intruder," "an 
enemy of Religion," "the chief of Young Italy." In the estimation 
of such men discretion is the better part of valor. But whilst 
they fought with the coward's weapon — slander — they could not 
wholly escape detection. Their libel was seized in the hands of 
a colporteur. This wretched man offered to disclose the names 
of the libellers. Pius IX. declined his offer, generously forgave 
him the offence, and even bestowed upon him a sum of money 
in order to induce him and enable him to give up his nefarious 

Meanwhile, there was at Rome a still more numerous body 
who sustained the policy of the Holy Father. These friends of 
order, it is most pleasing to record, made every effort to aid him 
in carrying out the measures of reform which he contemplated. 
This influential body of faithful and patriotic citizens, who can 
never be sufficiently praised, organized a considerable force 
which kept the populace in check. This party consisted, chiefly, 
of the burghers of Rome. They were encouraged and headed 
by the higher nobles, such as the Borghese, the Rospigliosi, 
the Riguano, the Piombino, and the Aldobrandini. Acting as 
a noble guard, they were able to preserve order in the city, 
when, on occasion of celebrating the memorable amnesty, it 
was seriously threatened by the factions. They were, indeed, a 
party of reform, order-loving and law-abiding. It can never be 

32 Pius IX. And His Time 

sufficiently regretted that, unaccustomed as they were to political 
turmoil, they knew not how to keep their ground in the face of 
new dangers which arose so soon. 

The health of Cardinal Gizzi had begun to decline. The toils of 
office were not calculated to improve it, and so he relinquished 
[034] a post which was, every day, becoming more onerous and 

difficult. There was another Cardinal whose high character 
had endeared him to the Romans. Ability and learning were 
not his only qualities. He was energetic and resolute, faithful, 
straightforward and self-sacrificing. When the dread scourge 
of cholera swept over his episcopal city and impoverished his 
people, Cardinal Ferretti gave up for the relief of the sufferers 
all that he possessed — money, clothing, plate, furniture, and 
remained in his empty Palace, as destitute as a pauper. To this 
eminent Cardinal Pius IX. appealed, offering him the high office 
which Gizzi could no longer hold. On 26th July, 1847, the new 
Chief Minister arrived at Rome. He was warmly received. The 
citizens gave him an ovation. 

Shortly before his arrival, news had come to Rome that 
Austrian troops were marching on Ferrara, a city of the Papal 
States. They were, indeed, entitled, by the treaty of 1815, to 
occupy this fortress, as well as that of Camachio. They could 
urge no better excuse for a display of military power in the Pope's 
States on occasion of the threatened disturbance of 16th July. 
This parade was only the prelude to further military operations. 
On 13th August, General Count Auesperg occupied all the posts 
of Ferrara. Whatever may be said as to treaty rights, this was, 
undoubtedly, an insult to the Papal flag. The most energetic 
remonstrances were immediately addressed to the Cabinet of 
Vienna. Austria endeavored to justify her proceeding by a 
wide interpretation of the right of occupation, by alleging the 
disturbed state of the public mind at Rome, and by insisting on 
certain precedents. But to no purpose. The diplomacy of Ferretti 
contended successfully with that of Metternich. And Austria, 

Pius IX. And His Time. 33 

yielding with the best grace possible to the representations of the 
Holy Father, evacuated Ferrara. 

The Pope, far from allowing himself to be disquieted by the 
presence in his States of Croat troops, proceeded with the work 
of reform which he had undertaken, slowly, indeed, but with 
energy and perseverance. In these labors of the statesman, he [035] 
was ably aided by the Cardinal Minister Ferretti. A promise 
was given that before the end of the year two great political 
and administrative institutions would be called into existence. 
Accordingly, so early as the month of October, two State papers 
appeared, the one instituting the municipality of Rome, which 
was to be called the Senate, the other decreeing an assembly that 
should be, to a certain extent, representative, under the name of 
Council of State (consulta). The City of Rome had not, for a 
long time, possessed, like the other cities of the Pontifical States, 
municipal institutions. It was now ordained that there should 
be a City Council, consisting of the mayor (in the language of 
the country, Senator), with eight colleagues and a hundred other 
members. This is not unlike our own municipal magistracy, 
wherein are the mayor, aldermen and common councilmen or 
councillors. With us, however, aldermen could hardly be called 
the colleagues of the mayor. This functionary stands alone in his 
worshipful dignity. The first nomination of the members of this 
municipal body was reserved to the Pope. But it was appointed 
that, ever after, it should be chosen by free popular election. 
None will question the wisdom and liberality of the language in 
which the Pope expressed himself in the preamble to the new 
law. "When we were called by Divine Providence to govern the 
Church and the State, our paternal solicitude was at once directed 
to every portion of the Dominion subjected to our Government, 
but especially towards the capital, the chief of all our cities, to 
which it is consoling for us to devote our watchings and our 
labors. What was, above all, important, and what we think will 
be a subject of joy to all, is the restoration to this beloved city 

34 Pius IX. And His Time 

of its ancient glory of communal representation, by granting to 
it a deliberative council. The study of this project has been 
particularly pleasing to us, and we have not allowed ourselves 
to be discouraged by any difficulty." This important decree was 
published on the 2nd day of October, 1847. On the following 
day there was a national festival. The people were in raptures, 
[036] and loudly demonstrated their gratitude to the Holy Father for 

an institution which recalled the glorious associations of ancient 
Rome, and restored it to its place and rank among modern cities. 
The Cardinal-prince Altieri was named president. He opened 
the first session of the municipal council by a speech which was 
marked by the homage paid therein to Pius IX. "He considered 
not," said the orator, "whether the work be difficult. He sees 
its utility and hesitates not." The council almost unanimously 
elected to the post of Senator (Mayor) Prince Corsini, who was, 
at that time, devoted to the policy of the reforming Pontiff. 

A measure of more general importance now occupied the 
attention of the Sovereign Pontiff and his Ministers. The 
Council of State (consulta) was established. It was a deliberative 
assembly. It was not sovereign, but possessed the right to advise 
the Sovereign. There were twenty-four councillors. The President 
was a Cardinal Legate. Each councillor was chosen by the Pope 
from a list of three candidates presented by each Province of the 
Pontifical States. The Council was divided into four sections, 
whose office it was to prepare laws relating to the Departments 
of Finance, Home Affairs, Public Works and Justice. It was the 
duty also of these four Committees to hold a general meeting on 
certain days, in order to take counsel together on the draughts 
of proposed laws which they had separately prepared. On the 
25th November, 1847, the National Representatives met for the 
first time. Their place of meeting was the throne-room of the 
Quirinal Palace. Cardinal Antonelli was the first President. The 
proceedings were commenced, and most appropriately, by a 
respectful address to the Holy Father. It was well known to Pius 

Pius IX. And His Time. 35 

IX. that the creation of this institution had awakened exaggerated 
and premature hopes in the minds of a portion of the people, and 
that some of the Deputies were not disinclined to encourage them. 
So he considered it necessary, in his reply, to define, in a very 
decided manner, the true character and functions of the National 
Representative Body. "It is chiefly," said he, "in order that I may 
become better acquainted with the wants of my people, and that [037] 
I may better provide for the exigencies of the State, that I have 
called you together. I am prepared, in time, to do everything, 
without, however, diminishing the Sovereignty of the Pontificate. 
That man would be grievously mistaken who should behold in 
the functions which devolve on you, or in your institution itself, 
his own Utopias, or the commencement of anything incompatible 
with the Pontifical Sovereignty." In concluding, he spoke in a 
still more determined tone, and reproached his people with the 
ingratitude which they had already begun to manifest. "There 
are some persons who, having nothing to lose, wish for disorder 
and insurrection, and go so far as to make a bad use even of our 

There was in this Council a commencement of 
representative government. Deputies from the Provinces 
assembled — deliberated. They heard a Speech from the Throne. 
They presented an address in reply. In due time this germ of 
constitutional monarchy would be developed. But the Sovereign 
would not proceed rashly. The full measure of reform, he was 
well aware, must, like all great works, be the fruit of time, of 
much labor and patient consideration. 

Count Rossi, the French Ambassador, considered that it 
was already time to introduce a lay element into the political 
administration of the Papal States. The Holy Father, accordingly, 
after due consideration, appointed some distinguished laymen to 
the Ministry. In so doing, no doubt, he sacrificed time-honored 
usage; but not so much to the wishes of his friends and allies, as 
to the spirit of the age, which, whether right or wrong, will have 

36 Pius IX. And His Time 

men of the world to deal with the world. 

Italy, although divided into several States, looked to Rome as 
its centre and its capital. Whatever occurred in the city of the 
Popes was at once known throughout the whole peninsula. Such 
important and unlooked-for measures of reform as were now 
carried into effect could not fail, as they were communicated, to 
affect deeply the Italian mind. Public opinion was aroused. The 
[038] most profound sympathy was everywhere felt and expressed. 

Liberty had revived under the auspices of Religion. It had 
emanated as a new blessing from the Cross. The Chief of 
Religion, the Father of the Faithful, had become its High Priest. 
His name was held in benediction. His praises were proclaimed 
not only by the Italian people, but also by every civilized nation. It 
was no longer violence — no longer insurrection — that contended 
for liberty. The greatest of all sovereigns had announced its reign. 
It was not indebted to any secret society. It relied upon society at 
large. It rested secure, so men believed, on the firm foundation 
of enlightened public opinion. Philosophy, as represented by M. 
Cousin, hailed its advent. The statesmanship of France, headed 
by M. Thiers, extolled its champion. Protestantism, forgetting its 
illiberal prejudices, re-echoed with enthusiasm the warm vivats 
of reformed Italy. Pius IX., meanwhile, enjoyed his reward, — not 
in the flattering echo of the thousand voices which sounded his 
praise, but in the one still voice of approving conscience. He 
was consoled, moreover, by a profound conviction that the cause 
which he had taken in hand would, one day, prove triumphant. 

With every new concession came the desire for further change. 
The people generally were satisfied, even grateful, and they 
frequently expressed their gratitude in the most sincere and 
enthusiastic manner. They were not, however, all sincere. There 
were not wanting those who studied only to make available for 
their own ends the tumultuous gatherings and warm expressions 
of satisfaction in which the people so often indulged. This was 
the Socialist faction. It aimed at nothing less than to establish 

Pius IX. And His Time. 37 

a Republic — a Republic, one and undivided, or, as it has been 
called, because of its cruel and blood-thirsty character, the Red 

With a view to the establishment of such a Republic, the men 
of this party took advantage of the numerous assemblages, which 
could not now either be regulated or diminished in number, to gain 
new friends, to increase popular excitement, and so to discipline [039] 
it as to bring it, through some favorite demagogues, under their 
control. It will shortly be seen with what a dangerous weapon 
they were arming themselves. It can scarcely be doubted that 
but for the machinations of these factionists and their influence 
with the masses, which was every day increasing, Pius IX. 
would have succeeded in establishing a system of government as 
constitutional and as free as was at all compatible with his own 
rights as sovereign. These rights he was not at liberty to abandon. 
No greater measure of political freedom could be reasonably 
desired by any people. From all history it is manifest that 
liberty is as fully enjoyed, and established on a more secure and 
permanent basis, under the fostering auspices of a constitutional 
monarchy, than in the best regulated republics. Such a form 
of government may indeed be said to be more republican than 
monarchical. But although possessing many properties, and all 
the popular advantages of a Republic, it does not cease to be a 
monarchy. The kingly dignity still remains with all that appertains 
to it, and is an essential element of its constitution. Such was the 
monarchy that Pius IX. desired to retain, and which he was bound 
in conscience, he believed, never to relinquish. That in this he was 
sincere his high character bears witness. Never was there a less 
selfish sovereign, or a man of more upright mind and sounder 
judgment. No prince ever held less to prerogative. Essential 
rights he was firmly resolved to maintain, whilst he never would 
have shrunk from any legitimate concession. Whatever was 
adapted to the time and the circumstances of his country, useful 
to his people, and conformable to a well-informed and sound 

38 Pius IX. And His Time 

public opinion, he was prepared to introduce into the economy of 
the State. But, the complete secularization of public power in the 
Pontifical States, in other words, the establishment of a Republic 
based on anti-Christian principles, — the Red Republic, — could 
never for a moment be contemplated. What may be called the 
[040] consultative Government had just entered upon the discharge 

of its duties, when Pius IX. resolved to render it completely 
representative. This important resolution was the subject of 
frequent conversations with M. Rossi, at the time ambassador at 
Rome of the French constitutional monarchy. M. Rossi wrote as 
follows, to his government, in January, 1848: 

"It is a problem which, after much reflection, I consider may 
be solved. The divisions of sovereignty in the world have 
been numerous and diverse. And as they lasted for ages, we 
might even try one more, beginning by separating entirely the 
temporal from the spiritual — the Pope from the King. Only it 
would be necessary to leave wholly to the spiritual, and the 
clergy, matters which with us are mixed." 

Not many days later, the ambassador imparted to his 
government this more decided intelligence: "The Pope will 
shortly grant the constitution. It is his serious and constant 
study." M. Rossi earnestly recommended that there should be no 
delay in adopting this important measure. It would, he conceived, 
put an end to agitation, — a most desirable result, surely, when 
it is considered how fatal to the cause of liberty and reform 
might any day become the too frequent tumultuous assemblages 
which, once constitutional government was established, would 
necessarily cease. 

The Pope held the same idea as the eminent diplomatist. The 
great idea was as yet, however, far from being realized. A new 
and most serious difficulty unexpectedly arose. On the 5th of 
March, 1848, a courier arrived, bearing the startling intelligence 
that the constitutional monarchy of France had fallen, and that 

Pius IX. And His Time. 39 

a Republic was established at Paris. No greater misfortune 
could have befallen Rome. The public excitement was increased 
beyond measure, and exaggerated hopes were enkindled that 
could never be fulfilled. The people, at first enthusiastic only, 
were now turbulent. The events in France exercised a still more [041] 
fatal influence. They caused anarchy to prevail. The extreme or 
Socialist Republicans, whom the proclamation of the constitution 
would have paralyzed, were now in the ascendant. What had been 
done at Paris, they conceived, might be done at Rome. And they 
induced the inexperienced multitude to share their conviction. 
Such belief was only an idle and a culpable dream. For surely 
it could not be guiltless to resolve on sacrificing thousands on 
thousands of precious lives for an Utopia, — a system that could 
never be realized. Events have shown that in France itself, 
which was entirely free to make whatever political arrangement 
it pleased, a Republic was not possible, even such a Republic 
as was established at the downfall of the citizen monarchy, in 
preference to the Red Republic. How, then, should it be possible 
to build up at Rome an extreme system in opposition to the 
views and wishes of the whole Christian world, — in opposition 
even to the people of Rome themselves, who, when free from 
undue excitement, were the loyal supporters of the sovereign who 
had already introduced into the economy of the State so many 
liberal institutions — institutions that were in perfect harmony 
with their ideas, and admirably adapted to the exigencies of the 
times? There was no need, as yet, that the Catholic nations 
should come to the aid of their Chief. It was necessary only 
to appeal, in defence of his sovereignty, from Rome drunk to 
Rome sober, — from Rome intoxicated with unwonted draughts 
of liberty to Rome in its normal state — to Rome, cool, and calm, 
and intellectual, even as in the days of her ancient glory, when her 
sages and grave senators sat by her gates sorrowing but dignified 
in their defeat. With the like countenance ought modern Rome to 
have met the tide of Socialist invasion, which every successive 

40 Pius IX. And His Time 

endeavor to establish the Red or Communist Republic proves to 
be more destructive than the war of mighty legions, which can 
only cast down material walls. 

A Socialist Republic was impossible at Rome, the city of 
the Popes. It never could have held its ground against the 
[042] sound principle which universally prevailed throughout the 

Pontifical States. Nor would it ever have been able to obtain 
the countenance, or even the recognition, of the European 
governments. Not France and Austria only; every other Catholic 
nation as well would have exerted all their influence against it. 
Nor in doing so would they have acted unwisely or unjustly. 
Had not Rome been the residence of their Chief Pastor, that 
great historic city would have ceased long ago to exist, or would 
be known only as an insignificant village, scarcely perceptible 
on the map of Europe. How often has not the celebrated city 
been rescued from destruction by the direct agency of the Popes? 
How long have they not governed it with wisdom and blessed 
it with prosperity? If there be any such thing as prescriptive 
right, undoubtedly it is theirs. If there be any right better 
founded and stronger than that of conquest, such right belongs 
unquestionably to the saviors of Rome. They have saved it for 
the Christian world, for mankind, for the Church. It is no man's 
property. It cannot be let, like a paltry farm, to those who 
shall bid the highest, in vain compromises and delusive hopes 
of liberty. Should the Roman people, of their own free will, 
pretend to give themselves away, — to sell themselves to a faction 
whose subversive principles they abhor, their forefathers of all 
preceding ages would protest against their base degeneracy; the 
children of the generations to come would curse their memory; 
all reflecting men of the present time would accuse them of 
black ingratitude, — ingratitude to the mighty dead among their 
Pontiffs, to whom they are indebted for their very name, their 
city's fame, its honored State, its very existence in modern 
times; ingratitude, above all, to that ruler who offered them, who 

Pius IX. And His Time. 41 

bestowed upon them, liberty, and who would have gladly rescued 
them in his day from tyranny, — the tyranny of faction, — even as 
his predecessors, in bygone times, snatched them from the cruel 
grasp of barbarism. 

Pius IX. had made up his mind to institute thoroughly 
representative and constitutional government. And this was 
all that the Roman people, as yet, desired. They were only [043] 
anxious that the views of the Pontiff should be speedily carried 
into effect. Accordingly, Prince Corsini, the Senator (Mayor), 
and the eight principal members of the Municipal Council, were 
commissioned to make known their wishes to the Pope. His reply 
was dignified and candid. In declaring his intention to grant the 
constitution which they asked for, he took care to intimate in the 
most decided manner that he was not making a concession to 
the urgency of the moment, but accomplishing his premeditated 
purpose. "Events," said he, "abundantly justify the request which 
you address to me in the name of the Council and Magistracy 
of Rome. All are aware that it is my constant study to give to 
the Government the form which appears to me to be most in 
harmony with the times. But, none are ignorant, at the same 
time, of the difficulties to which he is exposed, who unites in 
his own person two great dignities, when endeavouring to trace 
the line of demarcation between these two powers. What, in a 
secular Government, may be done in one day, in the Pontifical 
can only be accomplished after mature deliberation. I flatter 
myself, nevertheless, that the preliminary labours having been 
completed, I shall be able, in a few days, to impart to you the 
result of my reflections, and that this result will meet the wishes 
of all reasonable people." 

On the 14th of March, accordingly, was published the 
fundamental statute for the temporal government of the Holy 
See, and so was inaugurated constitutional rule in the most 
complete and straightforward manner which it is possible to 

42 Pius IX. And His Time 

The constitution was framed according to the model of the 
French Liberal Monarchy of 1830, so modified as to render it 
capable of being adapted to the Pontifical Government. Under its 
provisions there were a Ministry which was responsible, and two 
Houses of Parliament, one of which was elective, and the other 
composed of members who should hold their appointment during 
their lifetime. To the Council of State belonged the framing of 
[044] laws to be afterwards submitted to the votes of the two Chambers. 

In all constitutional monarchies, the assent of the sovereign is 
necessary, in order to give the force of law to measures voted by 
Parliament. So, under the constitution promulgated at Rome by 
Pius IX., the College of Cardinals were constituted a permanent 
council, whose office it was to sanction finally the decisions of 
the Legislative Chambers. Such, in substance, was the statute 
by which the Pontifical States became undeniably constitutional. 
A few days later the Ministry was named. Three-fourths of 
their number were laymen. Cardinal Antonelli was appointed 
President or First Minister. And thus the constitution was no 
sooner framed than it came into operation, so anxious was Pius 
IX. to advance the interests and meet the wants and wishes of his 

Now, one would say, gratitude only could await the Pontiff. 
But no! at the moment when, of all others, he was entitled to 
rely on the devotedness of his people, a new and great difficulty 

By the diplomacy of 1815, at the close of the great European 
War, certain portions of Italy had been left subject to German 
rule. By war only, some Italians imagined, could this evil be 
removed. This was an extravagant idea. War could only raise 
up new enemies to the cause of Italy and that regeneration which 
appeared to be so near at hand. Diplomacy would have served 
them better. What it had done at one time, under pressure of the 
most trying circumstances, it would have been ready to achieve 
when circumstances were changed, and imperatively demanded 

Pius IX. And His Time. 43 

a new order of things. 

In the new emergencies that had arisen, the learning and 
ability of statesmen ought, at least, in the first instance, to have 
been appealed to. As between individuals, it is reasonable that 
all peaceful means of adjusting a quarrel should be employed, 
so, in the greater affairs of nations, all the arts of statesmanship 
ought to be had recourse to before resort is had to bayonets 
and blood. How successful such a course would have proved, 
and how beneficial to the cause of Italian liberty, is more than 
sufficiently shown by the great result which diplomacy obtained, 
when Austria, insisting on treaty rights, displayed the flag of [045] 
war at Ferrara. In that case, no doubt, the Pope was the chief 
diplomatist. But would he not have been so, likewise, when there 
was question, not of one city only, but of many of the greatest 
cities and best provinces of Italy? It is not to be supposed, that 
in these more momentous circumstances he would have found 
"the Barbarians" more hard to deal with. Austria, indeed, was so 
barbarous as to ignore that exquisite refinement of modern times, 
which despises religion and its ministers; and so she would have 
shown, as of old, her reverence for the Pontiff, by withdrawing, 
at his request, her soldiers from Italian soil. 

The Italians, however, did not think so. They would have war, 
cost what it would. The people even of the Papal States, whose 
august Chief could have conquered without war, were bent on 
the same fatal purpose. They were wholly under the influence 
of the Socialist agitation, and no wiser counsel could be made to 

It was decided among the popular leaders that the question 
of war should be agitated in the greatest assembly which it was 
possible to gather together. The Coliseum was appointed as the 
place of meeting, and it was destined to present an unwanted 
spectacle, a grand but ill-omened scene. All Rome, it may be 
said, was congregated in the ancient arena, the favorite tribunes at 
their head. These demagogues were determined that the question 

44 Pius IX. And His Time 

of war should be settled by acclamation, hoping thus to influence 
the Sovereign Pontiff to induce him to abandon his policy of 
neutrality by this imposing display of opinion and excitement, by 
so much popular enthusiasm, by such intoxication, so to say, of 
patriotism. At an early hour the vast arena was already crowded. 
All orders of the State were there — Nobles, Burghers, Soldiers, 
Princes — everybody. Priests even came in tolerable numbers 
to swell the crowd, and monks of every order, ecclesiastics of 
every college, members of every congregation. Such was the 
immense open air assemblage in which the question of the new 
crusade was to be solemnly discussed. It would have been 
[046] a grand and noteworthy spectacle, had it not been arranged 

beforehand by skilful leaders who were adepts in the art of 
getting up revolutionary displays. In the great assembly there 
may have been sincerity. In the chief actors there was none. 
Such a spontaneous expression of public sentiment, if really 
such, would, indeed, have been imposing — grand. Viewed only 
as a theatrical performance of parts learned to order — and it was 
nothing more — it was deserving of nothing but contempt. There 
was in this display, besides, a sinister and melancholy feature — a 
set of actors practising on the popular mind to-day, in order to 
discover what they might safely attempt to-morrow. 

Near the tribune which overlooks the arena were ranged all 
those agitators who were destined to become, at a later period, 
so notorious in the commotions of the time. Among them 
was observed Padre Gavazzi, a Barnabite monk, whose puerile 
vanity made him aspire to distinction, and whose career was 
already marked by pretentious eloquence, a bombastic style, 
confused ideas, and a mind still undecided as to the limits of 
orthodoxy, which, a little later, he stepped beyond. He was 
the preacher of the crusade. Next came the shepherd poet, 
Rosi; Prince Canino's Secretary, Masi; a young French monk 
of the order of Conventualists, Dumaine; Generals Durando and 
Ferrari; the journalist, Sterbini, afterwards so fatally popular; 

Pius IX. And His Time. 45 

and, of course, the demagogue, Cicerruacho, who had been, at 
first, enthusiastic in the cause of the Pope, but who now burned 
for war, and, ere long, imparted to the revolution a character 
of fitful fanaticism and absurd sympathies. The day was spent 
in magniloquent addresses, which affected the style of ancient 
types, urgent exhortations to war, poetical orations, rounds of 
applause, rapturous demonstrations. The result was, lists for 
the enrolment of volunteers; the establishment in the different 
quarters of the city of tables for receiving patriotic offerings, and 
a threatening demonstration against the Quirinal Palace, where 
it was intended to force the Pope to bless the colours for the 
expedition against Austria. [047] 

The movement was now beyond all control. The orders of the 
Pope were treated with a sort of respect, but not obeyed. The 
spirit of rebellion was abroad, although the people still made a 
show of reverence. They were no sooner from the presence of the 
Pontiff than they transgressed his most sacred commands. Pius 
IX. had distinctly specified, when he authorized the enrolment 
and the departure of volunteers, that it was his intention and his 
will that the expedition should be exclusively defensive; that it 
should protect the territory, but avoid passing the frontier. The 
leaders, notwithstanding, adding perfidy to rebellion, made use 
of the Pontiffs name in order to deceive the people. General 
Durando had no sooner arrived at Bologna than he issued a 
proclamation, in which, falsifying the Pope's wishes, he adduced 
his authority in order to encourage the war. "Radetsky," said 
he, "fights against the cross of Christ. Pius IX. has blessed 
your swords together with those of Charles Albert. This war 
of civilization against barbarism is not merely national, it is a 
Christian war. With the cross and by the cross, we shall be 
victorious. God wills it." 

Nothing could have tended more completely to compromise 
the character of the Pontiff. It became necessary, accordingly, 
to publish the Encyclical Letter of 29th April, 1848. "Men are 

46 Pius IX. And His Time 

endeavouring," said the Holy Father, in this admirable document, 
"to disseminate suspicions that are injurious to the temporal 
administration of our States. It is our duty to prevent the scandal 
that might thus be given to the simple and unreflecting." He then 
proceeds to declare that he is resolved to expose clearly and to 
proclaim loudly the origin of all the facts of his Government. 
He refers to the memorandum of 1831, which contained the 
collective counsels of the European Cabinets to the Apostolic 
See, recommending the necessary reforms. Some of these 
reforms were adopted by Gregory XVI. Circumstances and the 
danger of the times caused others to be deferred. Pius IX. 
considered that it was his duty to complete what his predecessor 
[048] had begun. He does not disclaim having taken the initiative 

on certain other points. He had pardoned extensively, and he 
congratulates himself on this clemency. He repels the calumny 
which would ascribe to the reforms which he had inaugurated 
the general movement of Italy towards its enfranchisement. This 
agitation he attributes to events that occurred elsewhere, and 
which became facts of overwhelming influence for the whole 
of Europe. Finally, he protests that he gave no other order to 
his soldiers than that which required that they should defend 
the Pontifical territory. He cannot be held responsible for the 
conduct of those amongst his subjects who allow themselves to 
be swayed by the example of other Italians. He had given his 
orders distinctly. They had been transgressed. On the disturbing 
question of war with Austria, the Encyclical bears the following 

"They would have us declare war against Austria. We 
have thought it our duty to protest formally against 
such a resolution, considering that, notwithstanding our 
unworthiness, we hold on earth the place of Him who is 
the Author of peace — the Friend of charity; and that, faithful 
to the Divine obligations of our Apostolate, we embrace 
all countries, all peoples, all nations, in a like sentiment of 

Pius IX. And His Time. 47 

paternal love. Nor can we refrain from repelling, in the face 
of all nations, the perfidious assertions of those who desire 
that the Roman Pontiff should be the chief of the government 
of a new republic, consisting of all the peoples of Italy. 

"Moreover, we earnestly exhort, on this occasion, these 
same Italian peoples to keep particularly on their guard against 
these treacherous counsels. We conjure them to remain 
devotedly attached to their princes, whose affection they have 
experienced. To act otherwise would be not only to fail in 
their duty, but also to expose Italy to discord and factions. As 
regards ourselves, we declare once more that all the thoughts 
and all the efforts of the Roman Pontiff tend only to increase 
every day the kingdom of Jesus Christ, which is the Church, 
and not to extend the limits of the temporal sovereignty, with [049] 

which Divine Providence has endowed the Holy See, for the 
dignity and the free exercise of the sublime Apostolate." 

No better argument could have been offered in reply to those 
parties who clamored so unreasonably for war. Nor could the 
Pontiff have vindicated more eloquently the pacific character 
of that religion of which he is the Chief and Representative 
on earth. At the same time, he offered wise and authoritative 
counsel to the Italian nationalities. It was too late. The voice of 
friendly warning remained unheard amidst the din of strife and 
revolution. Need it be added — the cause of liberty perished for a 
time, victimized by its own excess. 

The Socialist party had succeeded in gaining the populace of 
Rome, and they now constituted a power which prevailed in the 
city, whatever it might have been in the field. Skilfully managed 
by its leaders, it gave law to the Pontifical government. The Pope 
was not, however, powerless. A merely secular sovereign would 
have been crushed. He would have had no other resource than 
to abdicate. The Holy Father was not reduced to this extremity. 
He was still able to repel the unacceptable measures which 
the Socialists endeavoured to thrust upon him. They and their 

48 Pius IX. And His Time 

myrmidons vociferated for war with Austria. The Pope could 
still say there should be no war, and his people did not engage in 
the contest. A few among the Roman youth took the field. But, as 
effeminate as they were ardent, their courage cooled at the first 
sight of a barbarian camp. They returned to their hearths, and 
there talked magniloquently of the tented fields which they had 
traversed, the savage hordes which they had encountered, and 
the dangers they had escaped. The party succeeded, however, in 
forcing a ministry on the reluctant Pontiff. Such a thing, when 
done through the representative body, however unreasonable, 
does not so much shock our idea of constitutional government. 
Neither can we approve the conduct of a faction which, whilst it 
was anything but constitutional, imposed a minister who held its 
[050] principles, on the prince who had, of his own accord, become a 

constitutional monarch. Count Mamiani was one of those whom 
the clemency of Pius IX. had restored to their country, of all the 
parties thus favored, he alone refused to become bound in honor 
to the Holy Father never to abuse the favor, but to remain always 
a good and faithful subject. He was not without ability; was 
well informed, cool and resolute, but without any fixed principle 
in politics. He would as readily have set up a Red Republic 
as a constitutional monarchy. His political conduct was guided 
more by events and circumstances than by any well-conceived 
idea of what is right and fitting. He was one of those Italian 
Liberals who might be compared to the Necker of the French 
Revolution, whilst Mazzini and his followers were the ultra- 
radicals — the Robespierres of Roman politics. The Mamiani 
ministry necessarily arose out of the popular commotions, and 
was a protest of the excited masses against the Encyclical of 
29th April. Its policy was no secret. In the days of popular 
turmoil they immediately preceded his nomination. Mamiani 
had declared distinctly in his harangues to the people that no 
priest should be appointed to any public office; that although 
Pius IX. should remain at the head of the government, they ought 

Pius IX. And His Time. 49 

to obtain from him the revocation of his Encyclical of 29th April, 
and a declaration of war against Austria; that a new expedition 
should be speedily organized, and that an official bulletin of the 
war should be published daily. The warlike and revolutionary 
pronunciamentos, thus pompously made, could not fail to arouse 
the enthusiasm of the multitude, whose excitement was already 
so great. In matters of this nature, however, it is more easy to 
make fine speeches than to act. The popular Tribune was no 
sooner elevated to the ministry than he came to experience this 
difficulty. So it was convenient to forget the grand lessons which 
he had labored so vehemently to impress upon the people. He 
still, however, insisted, or appeared to insist, on the Austrian 
war. It may have been necessary for the new minister, in 
order to maintain his influence over the masses, to announce a [051] 
war policy. Such policy, nevertheless, was chimerical. It was 
decidedly opposed by the legitimately-constituted powers of the 
State — the Sovereign on the one hand, who, by his name, his 
character, his virtues, his office, was still powerful; and on the 
other, the representative body. Accordingly, when this body 
came together in the beginning of June, there was an end to the 
government of the streets. But there arose new difficulties, and 
these difficulties the government of the Holy Father diligently 
studied to overcome. Cardinal Altieri delivered, on the part of 
the Sovereign Pontiff, an energetic and moving exhortation in 
support of unity and concord. 

At the same time, he expressed his earnest hope that the newly- 
elected deputies would show their good will by concurring with 
the ministry in rendering the new adaptation of the constitution 
compatible with the Pontifical government. 

This address, however ineffectual, possessed the merit of being 
thoroughly constitutional. The same praise cannot be awarded 
to Count Mamiani's inaugural oration. Next day, which was 
the 9th of June, he ascended the Tribune, and there enunciated 
ideas which belonged more to the ministry in their individual 

50 Pius IX. And His Time 

capacity, than as the representatives of their Sovereign. This 
was supremely unconstitutional, and could only be the result of 
inexperience. What knowledge could those men have had of 
a free and national constitution? They ought, at least, to have 
been guided by the laws of honesty and honor. Who will say 
that they were so, when they gave out that the opinion which 
they expressed in favor of war was also that of the Pontiff? 
They endeavored thus to extend the sanction of a venerated 
name to designs that were subversive of Pontifical rule. Neither 
inexperience nor ignorance of constitutions presents any valid 
excuse, or even palliation of such a proceeding. No doubt they 
called it policy. It was the basest trickery. 

In the hands of honest and judicious ministers the new 
constitution might have proved successful. So thought many 
[052] persons who were well informed and competent to form an 

opinion in regard to so difficult a question. It had also many well- 
wishers. But for the war agitation, it would, to all appearance, 
have had a different fate. According to the exaggerated idea of 
Italian patriotism which prevailed, all true Italians were bound 
to fight for their country. On the Mamiani ministry devolved 
the very arduous task of reconciling this warlike spirit with the 
pacific character of the Pontificate. The Pope, like any other 
sovereign, had a right, no doubt, to defend himself. But both the 
theology which guided him and the traditions of his sovereignty 
forbade him to wage war on any people. Such was the difficulty 
which it fell to the lot of his ministry to solve. The arguments 
to which they had recourse, however well meant, were certainly 
very puerile. The Pope, as such, they insisted, might decide for 
peace, and condemn the shedding of blood, whilst, as temporal 
sovereign, he would authorize his ministers to act as should seem 
to them proper, and they would declare for war. This miserable 
sophistry only showed the weakness of the government which 
employed it. The Pontiff could not be expected to act as if 
he were two distinct persons. Nor whilst his ministers waged 

Pius IX. And His Time. 5 1 

war, could he, whose representatives they were, be considered as 
neutral. For a few months that this ministry remained in office, 
the Pope continued to save his States by resisting the war-cry in 
opposition to their wishes. They were constantly at variance with 
him on this one great topic. His repugnance to war they could 
neither comprehend nor overcome. Popular demonstrations of 
the most threatening kind were often made, but to no purpose. 

Justum et tenacem propositi virum, 

Non civium ardor prava jubentum mente quatit solida. 

The Pontiff could not be moved from his firm resolve. The 
ministry, however, was shaken. With no better stay than sophistry 
and inconsistency, its weakness became apparent, and, as had 
been for some time clearly inevitable, it fell. 

Before considering further the statesman-like efforts of Pius 
IX. in the cause of reform, it may not be out of place to [053] 
review briefly the political opinion of the time. Although all 
men cannot be expected to accept, especially in many important 
matters, all the ideas of those distinguished writers, Gioberti, 
Balbo, DAzeglio, it would be unjust, nevertheless, to deny them 
the credit of having imparted new vigor, if not its first impulse, 
to the cause of reform in Italy. They were not, like so many 
others, rash and inconsiderate. They desired not to hurry on 
recklessly to the wished-for goal. They thought it was unwise to 
aspire, all at once, to the greatest degree of liberty that might be 
attained. The end in view could be best reached, they conceived, 
by judicious and well-timed measures of reform, and by such 
institutions as might be developed at a later period, when the 
Italian people, unaccustomed as yet to a constitutional regime, 
should be capable of a greater degree of freedom. Nothing more 
wise can be supposed than this view of educating the people for 
liberty before bestowing on them the precious boon. Their idea of 
commencing the work of reform by waging war on Austria does 

52 Pius IX. And His Time 

not appear to be so commendable. It was not, surely, the part of 
prudence, when on the eve of a great and arduous undertaking, 
to stir up enemies on every side. And this was really what they 
sought to do by provoking Austrian hostility. The government 
at Vienna was not inclined to be hostile. It had joined with 
other powers in recommending reform to the late Pope. And 
now it would rather have been an ally than an enemy. But the 
"barbarian" Germans were entirely odious to the Italian people. 
The power of education ought to have been brought to bear on 
this same people, if only in order to disabuse their minds of this 
one noxious prejudice. It had become necessary at length to 
extend to them the benefits of a political education. And surely 
the eradication of illiberal ideas would have formed a profitable 
branch of study. 

Pius IX., as has been already shown, was a practical reformer, 
and he had zealously undertaken the work of reform. Austria was 
[054] not inclined to throw any impediments in the way of his patriotic 

labors. Only on one occasion did that powerful empire show a 
disposition to interfere. It was when Rome and the Sovereign 
Pontiff were threatened by popular commotions. Then, even 
on the representation of the Holy Father, Austria laid down her 
arms. With these constitutional reformers, if we except their 
insane idea of waging a needless war, very little fault can be 
found as politicians. So lately as the early part of the year 1848, 
their opinions were generally accepted throughout Italy. They 
were, at that time, also the most powerful party. Their numbers, 
authority and talent, gave them a decided superiority, whilst 
the Republicans were still a weak minority. In a few months, 
to all appearance, everything was completely changed. Talent, 
respectability, authority, and influence, were still on the side 
of the constitutional reformers. But, in the meantime, the Red 
Republic had gained the command of numbers. How this came 
to pass it may be well now to enquire. 

In every great community there are many people who have 

Pius IX. And His Time. 53 

no fixed principles in politics, and others, perhaps, not less 
numerous, who have no political principles at all. Both these 
classes of people depend entirety on other men for the sentiments 
and opinions by which, at any given moment, they shall be 
guided. Such people were sufficiently numerous at Rome and 
the other cities and provinces of Italy. Demagogues, therefore, 
who were not without ability and possessed fluency of speech, 
found it no very difficult task to fashion as they had a mind, 
for these classes of citizens, any amount of political principles 
and programmes. Those even who were fairly imbued with 
constitutional ideas, but whose minds were not wholly decided, 
the leaders of the Red Republic endeavored, and not without 
success, to gain to their side, by persuading them to compromise, 
as regarded certain points, to modify their opinions on others, 
change their designations, enter into coalitions, and adopt such 
ingenious arrangements as were proposed to them. Thus, by 
degrees, and as was only to be expected in such circumstances, 
the ultra-radicals succeeded but too well in causing the most [055] 
extravagant political notions to prevail among the masses. As 
fate would have it, the revolution in France of February, 1848, 
which brought to an end the constitutional monarchy, afforded no 
slight aid and encouragement to the Red Republic of Italy. The 
men of this party might have understood, on reflection, to what 
extreme peril France became exposed, when she preferred brute 
force to constitutional proceeding, and tore down by violence a 
system which was, in many respects, good; and which, inasmuch 
as it was a constitution, could in due time have been extended 
and improved, receiving, as new wants arose, and wisdom and 
experience warranted, new developments, new adaptations, and 
daily increasing excellence. The constitutional element once 
removed, there was no medium between and safeguard against 
absolutism; on the one hand, and on the other anarchy, or the 
reign of violence and terror. 

The extremists of Italy, however, beheld only in the too 

54 Pius IX. And His Time 

successful action of the Parisian populace a new step towards 
liberty. It became the duty of the Italian people, they declared, to 
march onward in the wake of enlightened France, and seize the 
prize that was at length presented for their acceptance. By such 
counsellors were the people abused and led astray. The moderate 
reform party were themselves excited by the enthusiasm which 
events had inspired, and heeded not the snares which the radical 
chiefs were laying for them. They were thus caught in the toils 
of those designing men, whilst they imagined that they were 
only working out their own idea. They supposed even that they 
were gaining Mazzini, whilst, in reality, Mazzini was making 
proselytes of them. Gioberti and his more immediate friends, 
who certainly were not without their faults, were abandoned by 
the crowd. 

Reverting to what has been said already concerning Mazzini 
and his political doctrines, there need be no hesitation in 
pronouncing him the evil genius of modern Italy. In his book, 
"Italy in its Relations with Liberty and Moral Civilization," 
which was published in France, where he was an exile, in 
[056] 1847, he formally declared that "Young Italy" (the extreme 

Republicans) was the only party that could exercise any decisive 
influence on the destiny of Italy. At the same time, he treated 
with supreme contempt the ideas and hopes of the Reform party. 
In his mystic republic only was to be found, he affirmed, the 
principle of unity, the ideal formula of actual progress. This 
theory was the idol at whose shrine he offered sacrifice. His 
followers were also his fellow-worshippers, and he was their 
high priest. They were fascinated by his brilliant Utopias. He 
was no longer a legislator, a politician, a philosopher only. He 
was a man of inspiration, a prophet, the Mahomet of a new 
hegira. His sayings were oracles. His doctrines were enunciated 
in sententious and poetical language; and from his place of 
exile they were disseminated over the Italian peninsula. It has 
been shown already how generously Pius IX. had recalled from 

Pius IX. And His Time. 55 

banishment many subjects who had violated the laws of their 
country. These men were, at one time, no doubt, sincerely 
grateful, and showed how highly they appreciated the clemency 
of the Pontiff. It is not, however, surprising, if, as is usual in 
such circumstances, they began to consider more the severity 
which punished than the goodness which forgave them. Mazzini, 
among others, dissembled for a time. It may be — it has even been 
suggested that he was at first sincere, and had nobly resolved to 
sacrifice his favorite ideas to the cause of Italy. This opinion, 
however, was destined to be soon dispelled. It was not long 
till the newspaper Italia del Popolo, revealed the fact that he 
still held to extreme and revolutionary views. The minds of the 
people were poisoned by the ravings of this journal, and filled 
with mistrust. It became the instrument by which sects and 
parties were stirred up to work the ruin of the country. "Unita e 
non unione. Assemblea del Popolo Italiano e non dieta." "Unity; 
not union. The assembly of the Italian people ; not a federal diet." 
Such was the watchword of Mazzini's paper. And now the masses 
in the streets, under the guidance of the revolutionary leader, [057] 
vociferated, "Live the Constituent Assembly!" with as much wild 
enthusiasm as they had formerly shouted for Pius IX. and reform. 
They had no distinct idea as to the meaning of the cry, but held it 
to be something extreme — a boundless measure of liberty. The 
populace wanted nothing better; and so they continued to shout, 
as they believed, for unity and Republican Government. Such a 
system was, from the very nature and position of the States of 
Italy, impracticable, and without pressure from without, foreign 
war — which the Mazzinians so much deprecated — could never 
have been established. How bring under the yoke of a general 
popular convention so many diverse peoples? They were all 
Italian, no doubt, but of different races, different nationalities, 
and each of them had for ages enjoyed its own national laws, 
customs, manners, prejudices, predilections, and antipathies. Nor 
had they common interests. What would be good and suitable in 

56 Pius IX. And His Time 

one State might, by no means, be adapted to the requirements of 
another; might even in some cases prove disastrous. The Grand 
Dukes had, by their mild and liberal rule, endeared themselves 
to the Tuscan people. Piedmont and Naples were alike devoted 
to their respective monarchies. The people of the Papal States, 
with the exception of the populace of Rome, were loyal to their 
government. That populace was greatly increased in 1848 by 
the influx of strangers — men holding Republican opinions, who 
were diligently culled from foreign nationalities. All but these 
abnormal masses were attached to the wise and clement rule of 
their Pontiff Sovereigns. Of late years many things had occurred 
to confirm their devoted loyalty. Above all, proof had been given 
that the sacred monarchy itself could, without any diminution 
of its real power and dignity, adopt such political reforms as 
were adapted to the wants of the time. All these monarchies, 
already so moderate and popular, were becoming every day more 
constitutional. Were they now to be overthrown? The Mazzinian 
idea aimed at nothing less. And yet, what would it not have cost? 
So many time-honored rights would never have been given up 
[058] without a struggle — without bloodshed, if they were at all to 

be sacrificed. The torch of civil strife would have blazed from 
end to end of the Italian peninsula. And the ruin of the ancient 
monarchies — if, indeed, they had been destined at that time to 
fall — would probably have been succeeded by more despotic 
forms of kingly rule. 

If, at the time in question, the people of the different States 
of Italy had acted in concert, uniting their influence, they would 
have assumed an imposing attitude, and might have obtained not 
only the forbearance but the aid even of their powerful neighbors 
in developing such of their institutions as already contained 
germs of liberty, in extending constitutional rights which had 
long existed in monarchies that were by no means absolute. 
In the place of political wisdom, however, a universal mania 
appeared to prevail. In the confusion of popular demonstrations, 

Pius IX. And His Time. 57 

and the clamor of party cries, the "still small voice of reason" 
was unheard. The revolutionary chiefs harangued anew for war, 
and Italy, listening to their ill-omened counsels, took up arms 
against its sovereigns; and so gave the death-blow to its political 

The moderate Reform party conceived a plan which, if it had 
been carried into effect, would have been attended, no doubt, 
with great and happy results. They proposed to unite all the 
States of Italy by means of a Federal Parliament. They directed 
their efforts in the first place to promote union between the rulers 
and the people, recommending to the former moderation, to the 
latter a wise forbearance. They hoped thus to postpone the idea 
of absolute unity, and of the popular convention by which it 
was designed to establish and maintain it. The federal diet, an 
excellent idea of which was reduced to writing by the reverend 
and learned Abbate Rosmini, would have held the place of this 
assembly. According to this plan of confederation, the Pope, 
the King of Sardinia, the Grand Duke of Tuscany and the other 
Princes would have been united in an offensive and defensive 
league. Based on these principles, and provided that nothing 
were admitted in its details which could interfere with the sacred [059] 
character and office of the Sovereign Pontiff, the proposed 
political arrangement would have found favor generally with all 
who held constitutional views. Eminent authors, at least, have 
written concerning it approvingly. M. Laboulaye, in his learned 
work on Count Balbo, says: 

"It was necessary that the Princes should be induced to take an 
interest in the independence which concerned them so much, 
by forming a confederation like the Zolverein, which has 
so powerfully contributed to the union and the greatness of 
Germany. A confederation is undoubtedly that organization 
which is most suited to the character and the history of Italy, 
and it is also the best means of reviving Italian nationality and 
of checking Austria." 

58 Pius IX. And His Time 

Need it be added, that when there should have been question of 
restraining Austria, there would have been at hand an influence 
which Austria respected, and to which that mighty empire and 
its disciplined armies would have yielded more readily than to 
all Italy in arms. Without a confederation, or an arrangement 
equally good, there could be no better lot for Italy than civil war 
and national ruin. 

Events, meanwhile, were hastening on with alarming rapidity. 
The Red Republic persisted in maintaining its idea. The danger 
with which the country was threatened from without did not, in 
the least, moderate its efforts, and they were attended by the only 
results which they were calculated to produce. Italy remained 
divided. The sword of Charles Albert could not cope alone with 
the formidable arms of Austria. A united people might have 
stayed the tide of battle. The imposing spectacle of their union 
might even have influenced the German Cabinet, and the legions 
of Radetsky might never have presumed to cross the Mincio. But 
it was fated to be otherwise. Excess followed on excess, and the 
inevitable consequence was speedy chastisement. "Perish Italy 
rather than our idea" was the watch-cry of the Socialist leaders. 
And as if fate had combined with their phrenzy to destroy a 
[060] people, Italy was crushed by the invader. What cared they? 

What imported it to them that their country was brought low, 
and its Princes humbled in the field of Novara? The downfall of 
the Sardinian monarch, which at the same time was the defeat 
of Italy, was to them a victory. One more impediment to their 
designs was removed. "The war of Kings," said Mazzini, "is 
at an end; that of the people commences." And he declared 
himself a soldier. But Garibaldi did not long command him. 
His warlike enthusiasm was soon exhausted. The war of the 
people also ended disastrously; and the revolutionary chief, tired 
of the sword, resumed his pen and renewed his attacks on the 
moderate Reformers, who alone had fought, like brave men, in 
the Austrian war. The strife of words was more congenial to 

Pius IX. And His Time. 59 

the revolutionist; and he set about editing a new publication. In 
this journal he raged against the Reformers. They were a set of 
traitors, ante-chamber Machiavels, who had muzzled the popular 
lion for the benefit of kings and aristocracies. 

These Machiavels were such men as Count Balbo, who had 
given his five sons to the war of independence; Signor D'Azeglio, 
who had been in the campaign with Durando, and who had a leg 
broken by a ball at Vicenza, whilst defending Monte Benico with 
two thousand men against twelve thousand Austrians. D Azeglio, 
still smarting from his wounds, as well as from the insults of these 
reckless politicians, replied in a pamphlet, which appeared under 
the title of "Fears and Hopes." He took no pains to spare those 
club soldiers, those tavern heroes and intriguers, who could wage 
war so cleverly against the men who had stood under the enemy's 
guns. "For my part," he wrote, "I do not fear your republic, but 
despotism. Your agitation will end with the Croats." And so it 
fell out. The prediction was but too speedily and too completely 
realized. A French author, M. Mignet, comments on this subject 
at some length, and with remarkable eloquence: 

"A party as extreme in its desires as in its doctrines, and which 

believes that it is possessed of nothing so long as it does not [061] 

possess everything, and which, when it has everything, knows 

not how to make anything of it, imagined the establishing 

of a republic in a country which is scarcely capable of 

attaining to representative monarchy, and where the only 

thing to be thought of, as yet, was territorial independence. 

This party divided the thoughts, weakened the efforts of 

the country, and caused mutual mistrust to arise between 

those governments and peoples which were reconciled under 

constitutional liberty, and had an understanding against the 

common enemy. They thus compromised the deliverance of 

the land. The King of Naples, threatened by an insurrection 

in his capital, retained his troops that were on the point of 

marching to the theatre of war; the Pope ceased to give 

60 Pius IX. And His Time 

encouragement; the King of Piedmont, already in full march, 
hesitated; and Italy, agitated, without being free, became once 
more powerless, because she was disunited, and beheld the 
Austrians reappear as conquerors, and re-establish themselves 
anew as masters, in the recovered plains of Lombardy." 

These eloquent words confirm the view so generally 
entertained, that the Red Republicans were all along the cause 
of Italy's disasters. In consequence of the national weakness 
which their baneful operations produced, Radetski was enabled 
to reconquer Upper Italy, whilst they themselves directed their 
steps towards Rome, spreading terror as they approached, even as 
if they had been an army of Goths and Vandals. Swelling by their 
presence the numbers of men who held the same opinions, who, 
like them, were dissatisfied, and whom nothing could satisfy, 
they occasioned an extraordinary agitation of the people, caused 
fearful disquietude, and excited inordinate hopes. They imbued 
the masses with their subversive principles, and there was an end 
to all transaction with the Papal government. They had already 
done all that lay in their power in order to destroy monarchy in 
Piedmont. They now brought into play every scheme that could 
be devised, in order to advance the sinister work of dispossessing 
the Holy Father. They succeeded in gaining many Reformers, 
[062] who, too easily, allowed themselves to become their dupes. 

At first, as has been shown, the popular demonstrations in 
honor of Pius IX. were honestly expressive of gratitude to 
the beneficent Pontiff. The Socialists now succeeded in gaining 
possession of this great influence, and they employed it, certainly, 
with consummate ability. The masses, when once under the spell 
of agitation, are at the disposal of the boldest demagogues. The 
Reformers who had allowed themselves to be ensnared, continued 
to sing their patriotic hymns, the Roman Marseillaises, without 
heeding that Socialist radicalism was imperceptibly taking the 
crown of the causeway, and that the popular demonstrations had 

Pius IX. And His Time. 61 

undergone a complete change. At an earlier date "Young Italy" 
had only used them as a threat. They were now an arm in its 
hands. And so it governed in the streets, making a tribune of 
every milestone. 

There was only wanting to them at this moment a common 
centre or general headquarters of insurrection, from which should 
go forth the word of command, the signal for every rising of 
the people. This was found in the celebrated Roman Circle. 
This circle was a kind of convention without commission — a 
travelling cohort of two or three hundred agitators, who carried 
from town to town the dread and dismal flag of the Red Republic. 
This mob-power had, in opposition to the wishes of the Holy 
Father, brought into office the Mamiani ministry. This weak and 
irresolute minister broke the ranks of his own party, and passed 
over to "Young Italy". This party now dictated to him on all 
occasions. They urged on him with special earnestness war with 
Austria, knowing full well that the Pope would never agree to it, 
and so by his refusal would decline in popularity. 

The constitution was now in abeyance, the minister being at 
the orders of a party out of doors, and no longer the organ of the 
Sovereign and the representative body. The Pontifical authority, 
although still venerated by many, was no longer obeyed. It was 
only a name. 

The republic reigned, and only waited for the moment, too 
surely to come at last, when it should be openly recognized. In 
such circumstances the Mamiani ministry rapidly lost ground. [063] 
Now in its death agony, and impotent for good, it persisted, 
with a degree of perverseness which nothing could moderate, 
in reiterating its declarations of war against Austria. This only 
added to the confusion which prevailed. The ministers and their 
more ardent adherents were ready, as became patriots and heroes, 
to fight for their country. Nevertheless, with all this boasting, 
they made no haste to be enrolled. Whilst these men were 
indulging in such idle and vain-glorious talk, the few who had 

62 Pius IX. And His Time 

volunteered and taken the field, returned from Vicenza, which, 
during two days, had been bravely but fruitlessly defended. The 
forum warriors had only set out in time to meet their defeated 
and wounded fellow-countrymen, and give them the honors of 
an ovation on their return to the city. The war agitation was 
evidently nothing else than a weapon of offence against the 
Holy See. In its results it was most unprofitable, every day 
bringing news of fresh disasters. Circumstances now rendered 
the war-cry more inopportune than ever. Charles Albert, King 
of Sardinia, had been driven from the Mincio to the Oglio, 
thence to the Adda, thence to Milan. He was now recrossing the 
Piedmontese frontier, vanquished, despairing and heart-broken. 
Piedmont, nevertheless, in the silence of her humiliation, set 
about preparing for a final effort. 

The various ministers whom Pius IX. had called to his counsels 
were all alike unsuccessful. Circumstances of greater difficulty 
than ever had now arisen, and not without a sad foreboding of 
the greater evils that were yet in store, the Holy Father had 
recourse to the well-known statesmanship of Count Rossi, who 
had formerly been French Ambassador to the Holy See. 

M. Mignet, the able biographer of this eminent statesman, 
gives a distinct and interesting account of the difficulties with 
which, as Chief of the Pope's Council of State, he was called to 

"M. Rossi at first hesitated. He knew what formidable 
problems there were to solve. To conduct, according to con- 
[064] stitutional principles, a government that had been heretofore 

absolute; to administer by the hands of laymen the affairs of 
a country that had been hitherto subject to Ecclesiastics; to 
unite in an Italian league a state that had been almost always 
opposed to a political union of the Peninsula; in a word, 
to establish all at the same time, a Constitutional Govern- 
ment, a Civil Administration, a National Federation, were not 
the only difficulties that he would have to overcome. The 

Pius IX. And His Time. 63 

minister of a Prince, whose confidence others would dispute 
with him, a stranger in a country, where he would exercise 
public authority, he would be liable to be left without support 
notwithstanding his devotedness, and without approbation 
notwithstanding his services; to be attacked as a revolutionist 
by the blind advocates of abuses, and disavowed as an en- 
emy of liberty by the impassioned partisans of chimeras. He 
continued to decline for a considerable time. The conditions 
which he at first proposed to the Sovereign Pontiff not having 
been accepted, M. Rossi thought that he had escaped the lot 
that was in store for him. But the Pope, after having essayed 
in vain a new ministry, pressed him more urgently, in the 
month of September, 1848, to come to his aid, offering him 
at the same time his full confidence and unlimited authority. 
M. Rossi accepted." 

At the time of his accession to office Count Rossi was sixty 
years of age. He was no stranger to politics. His life, indeed, had 
been spent in the midst of political turmoil. As may be supposed, 
he suffered much in the course of his checkered career. He had, 
at the same time, learned much at the stern school of experience. 
He had been several times an exile, and had thus become the 
citizen of more than one country. In 1815 he was banished from 
the Peninsula, on account of the part which he had borne in the 
cause of Italian liberty; and having resided at Geneva and Paris, 
he had made for himself, in those cities, a brilliant reputation. 
He wrote on the important subjects of political economy and 
jurisprudence, displaying intimate knowledge of these sciences, 
great intellectual power and superior penetration. Although [065] 
relying on principles and theory, he did not ignore facts, nor 
refuse to accommodate the lofty forms of science to practical 
requirements. He was versed in the knowledge of mankind, 
and was far from being one of those, who, adhering rigidly to 
theories, would force nature itself to yield to their opinion. At a 
time when the affairs of Italy were in a most dangerous crisis, and 

64 Pius IX. And His Time 

anarchy actually prevailed at Rome, he was the ablest counsellor 
and auxiliary that Pius IX. could have placed at the head of his 
ministry. Possessing many rare endowments, Count Rossi was 
not gifted with those outward graces which tend so much to win 
favor for public men. His manner was such that he appeared 
cold and reserved; and his keen, searching lynx-like eye, was 
calculated to cause embarrassment. Familiarity with the objects 
of science and habits of diplomacy had imparted to him a gravity 
of demeanor which was easily mistaken for superciliousness and 
disdain. Withal he cared not to please, preferring to exercise 
influence by strength of will and the authority of superior intellect, 
rather than by attractive and amiable qualities and the charm of 
the affections. He had the mind of a statesman, but owned not that 
winning exterior which gains the crowd and disarms hostility. 
None but his own family knew how good he really was, and how 
tender-minded, so completely was all this excellence concealed 
by his cold and repulsive manner. 

The new minister was resolved, above all, to preserve the 
sovereignty of the Holy See. "The Papacy," he wrote at the time, 
"is the last living glory of Italy." His conduct was in perfect 
harmony with his language. He applied with no less ardour than 
ability to the work that lay before him. In less than two months 
he accomplished more than can be well conceived, and further 
measures were in course of preparation. Those matters to which 
he first devoted his chief attention were the Interior Government 
of Rome, the state of the Pontifical finances and the territorial 
independence of Italy. He found the public treasury in imminent 
[066] danger of bankruptcy, and he saved it by obtaining three millions 

of ecus from the Roman clergy. Through this munificent donation 
the minister was relieved from all disquietude as regarded finance, 
and so was enabled to direct his energies to the more difficult 
task of adapting the administration to the new institutions. The 
constitution was, indeed, legally established. The object now 
to be aimed at was to bring its wise provisions into practical 

Pius IX. And His Time. 65 

operation; in other words, to create a constitutional Pontificate. 

With a view to this desirable end, M. Rossi prepared such 
legislative measures as were calculated nicely to determine the 
sphere of action that should be proper to each of the powers. 
By such means only could the disorderly force of popular 
movements be controlled and restrained within fixed limits. The 
Civil Government of the Roman States required to be entirely 
reorganized. To this task also the minister diligently applied, 
impressed with the conviction that good laws are at once the 
strongest bulwark of liberty, and the most efficient check to 
arbitrary power. Count Rossi was by birth an Italian. He was 
so in feeling also, and was naturally led to consider how he 
should best avail himself in his political arrangements, of the 
sound and enlightened doctrines of Gioberti and Rosmini. With a 
view to this end he commenced negotiations at Turin, Naples and 
Florence, for a confederation of the Italian States. It was his policy 
that all these States should unite under a general government, 
whilst each State retained the forms, laws and institutions to 
which it had been accustomed. Certain relations between them, 
suitable to the time of peace, should be established, as well as 
such regulations as would facilitate their common action in case 
of war. Pius IX. saw the wisdom of this great design, and favored 
its realization. It redounds to his glory, as a ruler of mankind, that 
he decided for this salutary measure from which, if it had been 
carried into effect, might have resulted, in time, the complete 
emancipation and regeneration of Italy. Time, however, was 
not granted, and as we shall presently see, anarchy resumed its 
dismal reign. [067] 

Anterior to the accession of Count Rossi's Ministry, the 
Legislative Chambers had only wasted their time in unprofitable 
debates. It was appointed that they should meet on the 15th of 
December, 1848, and the minister prepared a bold and energetic, 
but conciliatory address. The representatives of the people, 
it was designed, should now hear no longer the ambiguous 

66 Pius IX. And His Time 

and factious harangues of a weak-minded demagogue, but the 
true and candid utterances of a Constitutional Government. 
Rossi showed himself on this occasion, to which melancholy 
circumstances have added extraordinary solemnity, a grave and 
resolute minister, determined to appear as the counsellor of his 
Sovereign and the exponent of his views, not as the slave of the 
people and the organ of their blind passions. This discourse was 
not destined to be delivered. It commenced as follows: 

"Scarcely had his Holiness ascended the Pontifical throne 
when the Catholic world was filled with admiration at 
his clemency as a Pontiff and his wisdom as a tempo- 
ral Sovereign.... The most important facts have shown to 
mankind the fallacy of the groundless predictions of that 
pretended philosophy which had declared the Papacy to be, 
from the nature of its constitutive principle, the enemy of 
constitutional liberty. In the course of a few months, the Holy 
Father, of his own accord, and without aid, accomplished a 
work which would have sufficed for the glory of a long reign. 
History, impartially sincere, will repeat — and not without 
good reason — as it records the acts of this Pontificate, that the 
Church, immovable on her Divine foundations, and inflexible 
in the sanctity of her dogmas, always intelligently considers 
and encourages with admirable prudence, such changes as are 
suitable in the things of the world." 

The oration was, throughout, a bold and luminous exposition 
of the ideas and policy which M. Rossi was charged to carry 
into effect. It was, at the same time, an earnest appeal to the 
representative body in order to obtain the aid, which was so 
[068] necessary, of their loyal concurrence, and the minister held 

himself bound in honor to abide strictly by the provisions of the 
constitution. The constitution, meanwhile, was in presence of 
very determined enemies. They had sworn its overthrow. They 
met, however, with a formidable opponent in the ministry, which 

Pius IX. And His Time. 67 

was resolved to sustain the new order of things, and prepared to 
defeat all the schemes of the radical faction. The constitution 
itself was also a serious impediment to their contrivances. Both 
constitution and ministry accordingly became the objects of 
violent attacks at street meetings and in the revolutionary journals. 
The minister was undaunted. "To reach the Holy Father," said he, 
"they must pass by my lifeless body." This noble determination 
only rendered him more odious to the revolutionists. The leaders 
of the Red Republic party, on their return from a scientific 
Congress at Turin, where the name of science was only used as a 
cloak the better to conceal their plots, decreed that Rossi should 
be put to death. Mazzini, in a letter which was published, declared 
that his assassination was indispensable. In one of the clubs of 
Rome the Socialists selected by lot the assassins who should 
bear a hand in the murder of the minister. The wretched man 
who was appointed to be the principal actor in the deed of blood 
actually practised on a dead body in one of the hospitals. The day 
on which Parliament was summoned to meet, 15th November, 
was to see the full purpose of the faction carried into effect. As 
almost always occurs in such cases, warnings reached the ears 
of the intended victim. Some of the conspirators, struck with 
remorse, had so far revealed the plot. Others boasted cynically 
that they would soon be rid of the oppressor. The Duchess 
de Rignano conjured the minister to remain at home. Equally 
solemn and urgent words of warning came from other quarters, 
and were alike unheeded. If, indeed, he believed that there was 
a plot, he relied on disarming the hatred of the conspirators by 
his courageous bearing, and proceeded from his house to the 
Quirinal Palace. When there he addressed comforting words to 
the Pope, who was in a a state of great anxiety. Pius IX., in 
bestowing a parting benediction, earnestly recommended that he 
should keep on his guard. [069] 

At the door of the Pope's apartments he met an aged priest, 
who beseeched him to remain. "If you proceed," said he, "you 

68 Pius IX. And His Time 

will be murdered." M. Rossi paused a moment and replied: "The 
cause of the Pope is the cause of God." 

A guard of carabiniers, treacherously disobeying the orders 
which had been given them, were absent from the approach to 
the house where parliament assembled. The minister had reached 
the stairs, and was ascending when a group of conspirators came 
around him. At first they insulted him. Then one of the assassins 
struck him on the shoulder. As he turned indignantly towards 
this assassin, his neck was exposed to the poniard of another, 
who, availing himself of the opportune moment, dealt the fatal 
blow. The minister fell, bedewing with his blood the steps at the 
very threshold of the legislative chamber. As the details of the 
murder were related to the members, they remained ominously 
silent. Not one of them uttered a word in condemnation of this 
monstrous crime. They proceeded at once to the business of the 
day. Although in the open space at the foot of the stairs which 
led to the assembly hall the civic guard was stationed in arms, 
nobody arrested, or showed the slightest inclination to arrest, 
the murderer. On the contrary, the criminal was conducted, 
not only unpunished but in triumph, through the streets of the 
city by his accomplices. A new hymn was sung — "Blessed 
be the hand that slew Rossi." The dagger of the assassin was 
enwreathed with flowers and exposed for public veneration in 
the cafe of the Fine Arts. The populace, in the excess of their 
phrenzy, insulted the widow of the murdered minister; and, by an 
extravagance of irony, they required that she should illuminate 
her house. The newspapers expressed approval of the crime, as it 
was, they pretended, the necessary manifestation of the general 
sentiment. The whole people, by their silence, although not 
by actual participation in such demon-like rejoicings, declared 
themselves accomplices in the deed of blood. 

Together with the noble Rossi perished, for the time, the cause 

[070] of Rome, the cause of Italy. What might not have been the gain 

to both, if the devoted minister had been allowed to fulfil his 

Pius IX. And His Time. 69 

appointed mission? Constitutional government would have been 
established on a solid and permanent basis; the wild agitation of 
the streets would have been brought to an end, and the excited 
passions of the revolution, beholding the sound, regular and 
beneficial working of free political institutions, would have been 
awed into composure. But, sad reflection! by an act which 
history will never cease to stigmatize, the only man who, by 
the authority of his reputation, abilities and experience, was 
equal to the stupendous labor of building up on sure foundations 
the social fabric was struck down, and the nations of Europe, 
which had looked on hitherto in sympathy, recoiled with horror. 
Liberal men throughout the civilized world had long been deeply 
interested in the state of Italy. Such was their belief in the 
bright future, which they were confident awaited her, that they 
could pardon the ill-controlled agitation of her children, and 
even their greatest excesses, when they first began to enjoy, 
before they knew how to use it, the unwonted boon of liberty. 
With crime and the evils which followed in its train they had 
no sympathy. A system which relied on assassination could not 
prosper. Inaugurated by violence, it could exist only by violence. 
The better feelings of mankind were shocked. The die was 
cast, and Rome was doomed. The fated city had rejoiced in the 
exercise of unhallowed force, and through that legitimate force 
which, in due time, Divine Providence allowed to be brought 
against her, she met her punishment. 

With the death of Rossi ended all hope of liberty. 

The conspirators were resolved that nothing should be allowed 
to delay the benefits which they anticipated from their crime. All 
sense of propriety was not yet extinguished in the representative 
body. There was question of sending a deputation to the Pope, 
in order to convey to him the condolence of the Chamber, and 
express their regret for the sad event. This step, which good sense 
and proper feeling so urgently demanded, was opposed, and only 
too successfully, by Charles Bonaparte, Prince of Canino. [071] 


Pius IX. And His Time 


violence. — Attack 
on the Holy 
Father. — Murder 
of Monsignore 

The revolutionists now resolved themselves into a kind 
of permanent club. This club set about making a great 
demonstration, and required that both the civic guard and the 
army should join them. When all was ready for this purpose, 
a mob which had for some time been in course of organization 
marched to the Quirinal Palace, where the Pope resided, and 
pointed cannon against the gates. They also caused muskets to 
be discharged from the neighboring houses. Monsignore Palma 
fell, mortally wounded, and expired 1 at the feet of the Holy 
Father. They next set fire to one of the gates. But the Swiss 
Guards succeeded in extinguishing the flames. The rebels now 
threatened to put to death all the inmates of the palace, with 
the exception of Pius IX. himself, unless he consented to their 
unreasonable demands. Even he would not have been spared, as 
was but too well shown by the balls which fell in his apartments. 
Until this moment the Holy Father had resolutely refused to 
accept a ministry, to press which upon him was an insult. Now, 
but only in order to save the lives of the people around him, he 
submitted to this indignity. Mamiani, with his former programme, 
supported by the constituent assembly, which consisted of the 

1 In 1855 the Bonaparte family were without a name in that Europe where 
they had possessed so many thrones. One man had compassion on them, 
and acted generously, Pius VIII. welcomed them to his States. A member of 
this family, Lucien Bonaparte, Napoleon's brother, having always shown great 
faithfulness to the Holy See, Pius VIII. conferred upon him the title of a Roman 
Prince and the principality of Canino. Lucien's son has not been gifted to walk 
in the footsteps of his honorable father. Balleydier, in his history of the Roman 
revolution, thus portrays him: "Versed in dissimulation, Charles Bonaparte 
had, under the preceding Pontificate, acted two very opposite characters. In 
the morning attending in the ante-chambers of the Cardinals, in the evening 
at the Conciliabula of the secret Societies, he labored to secure, by a double 
game, the chances of the present and the probabilities of the future. He had 
often been seen going piously to the Vatican even, to lay at the feet of Gregory 
XVI. homage which his heart belied." No doubt, in 1847 and 1848, he thought 
himself an abler man than his father, as he marched, poignard in hand, at the 
head of the malcontents of Rome. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


representatives of all Italy, together with Dr. Sterbini, Garetti, 
and four other persons equally unacceptable, constituted this 
Socialist ministry. 

They desired also to include in the sinister list the celebrated 
Abbate Rosmini. But this gifted and eminent divine refused to 
take part with them, or lend any countenance to their proceedings. 
On the 17th November several members of the representative 
chamber proposed that a deputation should be sent to Pius IX., 
in order to express to him their devotedness and gratitude. They 
were not wholly lost to all sense of propriety. But the Prince 
de Canino, true to his antecedents, succeeded in preventing so 
laudable a purpose from being carried into effect. He declared 
that such a step would be imprudent, and that they might have 
cause to repent it. "Citizen Bonaparte," such was the appellation 
he gloried in, further said that the Italian people were undeniably 
the masters now, and that they well understood how to humble 
all parliaments, ministers and thrones that should oppose their 
energetic impulses. 

Meanwhile the Pope, in such a fearful crisis, was abandoned 
by all save a few friends, the officials of his Palace, his faithful 
Swiss Guards and the foreign ambassadors. Among those who 
remained with him were six Noble Guards, and the Cardinals 
Soglia and Antonelli. This was all the court and army that was 
left to the great Pontiff, who had been so deservedly the idol of 
his people and the hope of mankind. In so desperate a condition 
he never lost confidence. Throughout all the trying circumstances 
he was self-possessed and serene. Nothing pained him so much 
as the ingratitude of his people. The new ministry of subversion 
had extorted from the Pope his forced and reluctant consent to 
their formation. He deemed it his duty to protest, which he 
did in the most solemn manner, against them and all their acts, 
before all the Christian European nations, as represented by their 

These ambassadors and diplomatists were Martizez Delia 


The Pope 

abandoned by his 
people. The Pope 
protests against the 
Socialist ministry 
and its acts. 

72 Pius IX. And His Time 

Rosa, the ambassador of Spain, with the Secretary of the 
Embassy, M. Arnao; the Duke d'Harcourt, ambassador of France; 
the Count de Spaur, ambassador of Bavaria; the Baron Venda 
Cruz, ambassador of Portugal, with the Commandant Huston; 
the Count Boutenieff, who represented at that time the Emperor 
[073] of Russia and King of Poland; Figuereido, ambassador of Brazil; 

Liedekerke of Holland, and several other diplomatists, of whom 
not one was an Italian. There was at Rome also on the occasion, 
although not in the apartments of the Pope, a British statesman, 
who was not an ambassador, inasmuch as, whatever may have 
been his business at Rome, he had no recognized mission, if any 
mission at all, to the Sovereign of Rome. He was rather officious 
than official, and whether he had commission or not, he held, 
as is well known, serious communications with the enemies of 
the Pope. Lord Minto was enthusiastically received by the secret 
societies of Rome. The people, forgetting at the time the way 
to the Quirinal, went to serenade him. Lord Minto frequented 
"the popular circle" (a band of three hundred chosen agitators, 
whose office it was to carry the torch of discord into all the 
cities of the Papal States and of Italy) and the offices of the 
Socialist newspaper. He went so far as to receive courteously 
Cicervacchio, and made verses for his son Cicervacchietto. 

The Earl of Minto was not, however, a faithful exponent of 
the opinions of British statesmen. Few of them, fortunately, held 
the subversive doctrines that were countenanced by his lordship 
when representing at Rome the least respectable portion of the 
Whig party. 

The multitude, intoxicated with their delusive success, and the 
desperate men who led them, were still celebrating their ill-gained 
victory, the frequent discharge of fire-arms and the impassioned 
vociferations of the crowd were yet reverberating through the 
venerable edifices of Rome, when the Holy Father addressed the 
following words, giving proof of the deepest emotion whilst he 
spoke, to the ambassadors who remained with him: 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


"Gentlemen, I am a prisoner here. Now that I am deprived 
of all support and of all power, my whole conduct will have 
only one aim — to prevent any, even one drop of fraternal blood 
from being uselessly shed in my cause. I yield everything to this 
principle; but at the same time I am anxious that you, gentlemen, 
should know, that all Europe should be made aware, that I 
take no part, even nominally, in this government, and that I am 
resolved to remain an absolute stranger to it. I have forbidden 
them to abuse my name; I have ordered that recourse should not 
be had even to the ordinary formulas." 

The representatives of the European Powers received 
respectfully, and with feelings which found expression in tears, 
the protestation of Pius IX., who was now a prisoner in his own 
mansion, and a hostage of the revolutionary faction. 

Pius IX. was in imminent danger. A prisoner, and surrounded 
by implacable enemies, he had no power to protect his own life 
or that of any faithful citizens. Many who were devoted to his 
cause had been obliged to leave the city. The Cardinals, indeed, 
were all true to their illustrious Chief. But several were driven 
by threats of assassination to go into exile. The children of Saint 
Ignatius withdrew, at the request of the Holy Father, in order 
to escape the wrath of the excited multitude. The Pope himself 
knew not whither to direct his steps. 

The revolution was everywhere. It had not yet conquered, 
but it disturbed all Europe. The representatives of the 
Powers remained devotedly with the Pope. But the countries 
which would have sustained them were distracted by political 
commotions. The King of Naples was threatened on all hands by 
revolution. Lombardy and Venice were in a state of insurrection. 
Piedmont was making war on Austria, and all Hungary was in 
rebellion. The Emperor Ferdinand was compelled twice over 
by civil commotion to abandon his capital. Unable to face 
the revolutionary tide, he handed over his tottering throne to 
a youth of eighteen years. The King of Prussia and other 


Unsettled state 

of the European 

74 Pius IX. And His Time 

German Sovereigns, who hoped at first to direct the revolutionary 
movement as to derive from it new strength, were obliged either 
to fly before it or to struggle against it in the streets. France, 
who commenced the disturbance which was now so general, was 
compelled to fight for her existence against her own children. 
[075] Her chief city, Paris, had become a battle-field, where wicked 

men and equally wicked women slew the soldiers of the country 
with poisoned balls. A greater number of the best officers of 
France fell in a single fight against Parisian anarchy than during 
the whole time of the war with the wild Bedouins of Africa. 

Pius ix. retires to At Rome the revolutionary faction was gaining strength, and 
Gaeta - the position of the Pope was becoming every day more perilous. 

It was the opinion of his most devoted friends that he should 
leave the city. But to what country should he repair? All Europe 
was agitated by revolutionary troubles. The Holy Father was 
still undecided, when he received from the Bishop of Valence 
a letter of wise counsel, together with a precious gift — the Pyx 
which the venerable Pius VI. had borne on his person when 
an exile and the captive of an earlier revolution. Pius IX., on 
receiving a present which was so suggestive, resolved to remain 
no longer in the power of his enemies. With the assistance of 
the Duke d'Harcourt, ambassador of France, and the Bavarian 
Ambassador, Count de Spaur, he left the Quirinal Palace and the 
city of Rome. He was safely conducted by the latter personage 
to Albano, and thence in this ambassador's carriage to Gaeta, 
in the kingdom of Naples. As soon as his arrival there was 
intimated to King Ferdinand, who was not yet deprived of his 
royal power, this monarch, attended by a brilliant suite, embarked 
for Gaeta, in order to welcome the Holy Father and assure him of 
protection. During seventeen months that Pius IX. resided as a 
voluntary exile in the kingdom of Naples, Ferdinand ceased not 
to afford all the comfort in his power to the Sovereign Pontiff. 
His conduct towards him in every respect was beyond all praise. 
As a fellow-man, he consoled him in his sorrows; as a prince, he 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


entertained him with truly royal magnificence, sparing nothing 
that was calculated to lessen, even to do away with the pain and 
tedium of exile, whilst, as a faithful Christian, he fulfilled every 
filial duty towards the Vicar of Christ, expiating, as far as was 
possible, the crimes committed against him by so many ruthless 

The revolution of another country had for chiefs such men 
as Robespierre. That of Rome and Italy gloried in Mazzini, 
who ordered the assassination of Count Rossi. There was at 
Rome another revolutionary leader, the Advocate Armellini, 
who pronounced the downfall of the Pope from his temporal 
sovereignty. This consistorial advocate had, six times over, 
solemnly sworn fidelity to the Pontiff. He had even composed in 
honor of the Papacy a sonnet, in which are read these remarkable 
words: "I spoke with Time, and asked it what had become of 
so many empires, of those kingdoms of Argos and Thebes and 
Sidon, and so many others which had preceded or followed them. 
For only answer, Time strewed its passage with shreds of purple 
and kingly mantles, fragments of armor, wrecks of crowns, and 
cast at my feet thousands of broken sceptres. I then enquired what 
would become of the thrones of to-day. What the first became, 
was the reply — and Time waved the direful scythe which levels 
all things under its merciless strokes — these also will be. I asked 
if a like destiny was in store for the Throne of Peter. Time was 
silent; Eternity alone could reply." 

Not long after the departure of the Holy Father, this traitor, 
Armellini, gave a banquet to the principal chiefs of the revolution. 
His wife, who had often charged him with the violation of his 
oath, remained on this occasion in her apartment, lest she should 
be contaminated by any, even an apparent association with, such 
men as Sterbini, Mamiani, Galetti and others. 

The guests enquired the cause of her absence, when suddenly 
the door opened, and Madam Armellini, pale, animated, in 
a threatening attitude, and with a roll of paper in her hand, 


conduct of sworn 
servants of the 


Pius IX. And His Time 


Sentiments and 
declarations of the 

exclaimed: "You are all accursed! Fear the judgments of God, 
you, who in contempt of your oaths, although unable to slay, 
have banished his minister. Dread the Divine anger. Pius IX., 
from his place of exile, appeals to God against you. Listen to his 
words." She unrolled slowly, as she spoke, the paper which she 
held in her hand, and read in a firm voice, emphasising every 
word, the decree of the Holy Father, which contained a threat of 
excommunication. This reading came like a lightning stroke on 
the startled guests. Madam Armellini, after a moment's silence, 
resumed: "Sirs, have you understood? The avenging hand which 
none can escape is suspended over your heads, ready to strike. 
But there is still time. The voice of God has not yet, through 
that of his Vicar, fulminated the terrible sentence. For the sake 
of your happiness in this world and your salvation in the next, 
throw yourselves on his mercy. The cup of your iniquities is 
filling fast. Dash it from you before it overflow." Having thus 
spoken, this courageous woman, whose just indignation was at 
its height, approached her husband and threw down before him, 
on the table, the decree of the Holy Father. She then withdrew. 

About two months and a half after the assassination of the 
Pope's minister, Count Rossi, the leading conspirators caused it 
to be decreed, in their revolutionary assembly, that the Papacy 
was fallen, de facto et de jure, from the government of the 
Roman States. They made a fashion of providing, at the same 
time, that the Pontiff should have all necessary guarantees for 
his independence in the exercise of his spiritual office. Above 
all, they forgot not to declare that the form of government 
should be purely democratic, and assume the glorious name of 
Roman Republic. All this was very little in harmony with the 
sentiments which were expressed at the commencement of the 
popular movements. With regard to these sentiments, which 
were so loudly and apparently also so sincerely proclaimed, new 
light was dispensed. Mazzini arrived at Rome as a deputy to the 
Revolutionary Convention. He had no sooner taken his place 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


there than he declared that the reiterated vivats in honor of the 
reforming Pope were lies, and were had recourse to in order to 
conceal designs which it was not yet time to reveal. Is there not 
reason to believe that the new watchword, "Live the Roman 
people!" was equally sincere? It is well known that they never 
would admit a fair representation of the people. And had they not 
declared that they are incapable of governing themselves, and 
must be ruled with a rod of iron? 

Public opinion at the same time gave the lie to their 
unwarrantable pretensions. The revolutionary chiefs gave out in 
an official proclamation, "that a republic had arisen at Rome on 
the ruins of the Papal Throne, which the unanimous voice of 
Europe, the malediction of all civilized people and the spirit of 
the Gospel, had levelled in the dust." Not only the nations of 
Europe, but also the whole civilized world and people, the most 
remote, who scarcely yet enjoyed the blessings of civilization, 
made haste to deny an assertion which was as false as it was 
audacious. All the nations of Christendom were deeply moved 
when they heard of the outrages which the Roman populace had 
heaped upon the common Father of the faithful. Compassion 
was universally expressed, together with professions of duty and 
obedience, whilst there was only indignation at the base conduct 
of the faction which persecuted him. There was scarcely a 
Sovereign Prince in Europe who did not send to Pius IX. most 
affectionate letters, expressive of reverence and devotedness, 
whilst they promised assistance and defence. The four Catholic 
Powers, and not without the consent of the other States, united 
in order to drive the rebels from Rome and the Roman States, 
and restore to the Pontiff his temporality. In the representative 
assemblies of France and Spain, the most eloquent orators upheld 
the rights of the Holy See, the utility and necessity of the complete 
independence of the Roman Pontiff, both for the government of 
his States and the exercise of his spiritual power. At the same time 
numerous associations were formed under the auspices of the 


What the world 
thought of the 
proceedings at 


78 Pius IX. And His Time 

civil and ecclesiastical authorities, for the purpose of collecting 
offerings in aid of the Sovereign Pontiff, impoverished as he was 
by the privation of his revenues. These associations extended 
not only throughout Europe, but were established also in North 
[079] and South America, India, China and the Philippine Islands. 

The poorest even, like the widow of the Gospel, insisted on 
contributing their mite. 

Many touching instances are quoted. Some young persons, 
who were only humble artisans, managed by great economy to 
save some thirty-five livres, and sent them, accompanied with 
a very feeling address, to the association of their locality. "If, 
at this moment," they said, "we were near the Holy Father, 
we would say to him, whilst reverently kneeling at his feet: 
Most Holy Father, this is the happiest of our days. We are a 
society of young persons who consider it our greatest happiness 
to give proof of our veneration for your Holiness. We claim 
to be your most affectionate children; and notwithstanding the 
efforts of ill-disposed persons to separate us from Catholic unity, 
we declare that we recognize in your Holiness the successor of 
St. Peter and the Vicar of Jesus Christ. We are prepared to 
sacrifice all that we possess, and even our life, in order to prove 
ourselves worthy children of so good a Father." The testimony 
of youth and innocence is precious in the sight of heaven. Hence, 
allusion is made to this case in preference to so many others. Ex 
ore infantium et lactantium perfecisti laudem. On occasion of 
receiving such genuine marks of filial devotedness Pius IX. was 
often moved to tears. 

The revival of the offering of "Peter's Pence" recalls to mind 
the piety of the early ages. This practice was in vigor when 
the world had scarcely yet begun to believe. It is not a little 
remarkable that it has been renewed in an age when so many 
have fallen from belief. The more the Church was persecuted in 
the early days the more were her ministers held in honor. Such, 
one is compelled to say, is her destiny in all ages. Pius IX., 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


when an exile at Gaeta, was the object of the most respectful 
and devoted attentions of all classes of Christians in every land. 
Bishops, ecclesiastical communities, religious congregations, all 
orders of Christian people, vied with one another in their zeal to 
do him honor. As many as six, eight, eleven thousand signatures 
were often appended to the same dutiful address. The memory 
of such faith and devotedness can never perish. A selection of 
letters and addresses to the Holy Father was published at Naples 
in two large quarto volumes, under the title: The Catholic world 
to Pius IX., Sovereign Pontiff, an exile at Gaeta from 1848 to 

When Peter himself was in prison the whole Church was 
moved, and prayed for his release. It speedily followed. Prayer, 
no less earnest, was made in behalf of his successor. With what 
success a few words will show. The deliverers were the Princes 
and people of Catholic Europe. If there was still some delay 
it was only that for which diplomacy is proverbial. Austria, 
that had more than once obeyed the voice of the Holy Father, 
in withdrawing her troops from the Roman States, and against 
which he had so often refused to allow war to be declared, was 
the first now to propose that measures should be adopted for his 
restoration. In a note addressed by this State to the other Powers 
we find the following words: "The Catholic world is entitled 
to require for the visible Chief of the Church the plenitude of 
liberty which is essential for the government of Catholic society, 
and the restoration of that ancient monarchy which has subjects 
in every part of the world. The Catholic nations will never allow 
the head of their Church to be robbed of his independence and 
reduced to be the subject of a foreign Prince. They will not suffer 
him to be degraded by a faction which, under the cloak of his 
venerable name, is endeavoring to undermine and destroy his 
power. In order that the Bishop of Rome, who is at the same time 
the Sovereign Pastor of the Church, may be able to exercise the 
duties of his exalted office, it is necessary that he should be also 


The Catholic 

Powers resolve to 
reinstate the Pope. 

80 Pius IX. And His Time 

Sovereign of Rome." 

Spain came next. On the 21st December, 1848, the Spanish 
ministry addressed to the other Catholic nations the following 
circular letter: "The government of her Majesty has decided on 
doing whatever shall be necessary in order to reinstate the Holy 
Father in a state of independence and dignity, which will admit of 
[081] his discharging the duties of his sacred office. With a view to this 

end the government of Spain, having been apprised of the Pope's 
flight, addressed the French Government, which declared itself 
prepared to sustain the liberty of the Pontiff. These negotiations, 
nevertheless, may be considered as insufficient when we glance 
at the turn which affairs have taken at Rome. There is no 
question any longer of protecting the liberty of the Pope, but 
of re-establishing his authority on a solid and stable basis, and 
of securing him against violence. It is well known to you that 
the Catholic Powers have always had it at heart to guarantee 
the sovereignty of the Pope, and assure to him an independent 
position. Such position is so important for the Christian States 
that it cannot on any account be subjected to the will and pleasure 
of so small a portion of the Catholic world as the Roman States. It 
is the belief of Spain that the Catholic Powers cannot commit the 
liberty of the Pope to the caprice of the city of Rome. Nor can they 
permit that, whilst all the Catholic nations are warmly offering 
to the Holy Father proofs of their profound respect, a single town 
of Italy shall dare to outrage his dignity, and restrict the Pope 
to a state of independence which could be so easily abused at 
any time as a religious power. These considerations induce the 
government of her Majesty to invite the other Catholic Powers 
to come to an understanding on the means to be employed for 
averting the evils which would arise, if matters remained in their 
present position. In furtherance of this object, her Majesty has 
ordered her government to address the governments of France, 
Austria, Bavaria, Sardinia, Tuscany and Naples, in order to invite 
them to name Plenipotentiaries, and appoint the place where they 

Pius IX. And His Time. 8 1 

shall meet." 

The Catholic Powers welcomed cordially this admirable note, 
which expressed so clearly the idea which they all entertained. 
Piedmont alone, as if already casting a covetous eye on Rome 
and its territory, refused to concur. Its refusal was expressed by 
the pen of the once so highly esteemed Abbate Gioberti, who was 
President of the Council. It was not long till Piedmont reaped its [082] 
reward. The following year, 1849, on the 22d of March, it had to 
lament the disastrous battle of Novara. 

Not long after, Cardinal Antonelli, who remained with the 
Pope, addressed, on the part of the Holy See, to the governments 
of France, Austria, Spain and Naples, a highly important paper. 
It recapitulated, in a clear and forcible manner, all that had 
occurred at Rome from the time of the Pope's departure till the 
18th of February, and then requested, in the most formal and 
pressing way possible, the intervention of these four Catholic 
Powers. The governments thus appealed to promptly replied 
by sending Plenipotentiaries to Gaeta, where the Pope desired 
that the diplomatic conference should be opened. The Catholic 
countries had already anticipated the intentions of the Sovereign 
Pontiff — some by acts, others by energetic resolutions. On the 
one hand, General Cavaignac, to whom France had for the time 
committed her sword, had concentrated, as early as the month 
of September, 1848, a body of troops under the command of 
General Molliere, whose duty it should be to hold themselves in 
readiness to embark for Italy at the first signal. Spain, on the 
other hand, prepared her fleet. The King of the Two Sicilies could 
scarcely restrain the ardor of his soldiers. Portugal, even, which 
had not been mentioned in the document addressed to the four 
Catholic Powers, considered it a duty to cause it to be represented 
to the government of the Pope through its ambassador, the Baron 
de Verda Cruz, that the Portuguese people would be most happy 
to take up arms in the interest of the Papal cause. Portugal was 
among the first, on occasion of the 16th November, 1848, to offer 


Pius IX. And His Time 


Dutiful conduct 
of Ferdinand of 
Naples, towards 
the exiled Pope. 

Action of 

the Powers 

delayed. Prince 
Louis Napoleon 
repudiates the 

conduct of 

the Prince of 
Canino. — Declares 
for the temporal 


hospitality to the Sovereign Pontiff, and to invite him to one of 
the finest residences in Christendom, the magnificent palace of 

The time of the Holy Father at Gaeta was employed, as it 
usually is, in prayer, the giving of audiences and the business 
of the Church. In one point, there was an exception to the 
rules of the Papal Court. The King of Naples, the Queen and 
the Princes were admitted every day to the table of the Pope. 
King Ferdinand, notwithstanding his friendly relations with Pius 
IX., never availed himself of this privilege without a new daily 
invitation. In all other respects, likewise, his conduct towards the 
Holy Father was all that the most devout Catholic could desire. 

The internal state of the Catholic Powers caused their action to 
be delayed. The political troubles of the Austrian Empire obliged 
the Emperor Ferdinand to abdicate in favor of his youthful 
nephew, Francis Joseph. France was laboring to consolidate 
her newly-founded Republic. There was question of electing 
a president. And if, on the occasion, Prince Louis Napoleon 
Bonaparte secured the greatest number of votes, he owed this 
success, if not wholly, in great measure, at least, to his repudiation 
of the undutiful conduct of his cousin, the Prince of Canino, at 
Rome, and his declaration in favor of the temporal sovereignty 
of the Pope. On the eve of the election he wrote as follows to the 
Papal Nuncio: "My Lord, I am anxious that the rumors which 
tend to make me an accomplice of the conduct of Prince Canino 
at Rome should not be credited by you. I have not, for a long 
time, had any relations with the eldest son of Lucien Bonaparte; 
and I am profoundly grieved that he has not understood that 
the maintenance of the temporal sovereignty of the venerable 
Head of the Church is intimately connected with the glory of 
Catholicism, no less than with the liberty and independence of 
Italy. Accept, my Lord, the expression of my sentiments of high 

"Louis Napoleon Bonaparte." 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


Spain had already despatched a fleet to Gaeta, the Austrians 
had advanced in the direction of Ferrara, and the King of Naples 
at Terracina, when, on the 25th of April 1849, a French army, 
under the command of General Oudinot, disembarked at Civita 
Vecchia. This military expedition was, at first, considerably 
thwarted by diplomacy. The general-in-chief was assured at the 
outset that he had only to show himself before the walls of Rome, 
and the gates would be opened immediately in consequence of 
the reaction which was taking place within. Accordingly, the 
army advanced, on the 30th April, to the foot of the ramparts, 
and was received with a discharge of fire-arms. Nevertheless, 
one of the gates was opened to a French battalion. The Romans 
came out in crowds, waving white handkerchiefs, and shouting, 
"Peace is concluded! Peace for ever! Enemies in the morning, we 
are brothers this evening! Long live the French!" The soldiers, 
deceived by these demonstrations, were persuaded to enter they 
city. They were at once disarmed and declared prisoners of 
war. It was now manifest that a regular siege was necessary. 
An impediment was, however, thrown in the way of military 
operations, by a civil or diplomatic agent who entered Rome, and 
in the course of a few weeks concluded with the revolutionists 
a treaty which was contrary to his instructions, to those of the 
commander-in-chief, to the honor of France and the objects of 
the expedition. Odillon Barrot was, at that time, President of the 
French Ministry — the same Odillon Barrot who, in 1830, was 
prefect of police, and allowed the mansion of the Archbishop to 
be demolished without taking any measures for its protection. 
Such conduct, as has been well observed, showed that this official 
loved anarchy more than order. Hence, probably, arose those 
impediments to the Roman expedition which gave time to the 
revolutionists to organize, under the leadership of a chief of 
banditti, Garibaldi, of Genoa. They availed themselves, at the 
same time, of the leisure afforded, to massacre many faithful 
priests, to enable some renegade monks to profane the solemnities 

Several Powers 
undertake to 

restore the Pope. 
France sends an 
army to Rome. 
Treachery of the 
Roman populace. 
Determination to 
besiege Rome. 

The siege delayed 
by diplomatic 



Excesses of the 



Pius IX. And His Time 

The King of Naples 
and the Spaniards 
offer to assist the 


Rome surrenders to 
the French. 

Colonel Niel 

despatched to 

Gaeta with the keys 
of the city. 

of religion, and to commit, in the hospitals, outrages which were, 
until that time, unheard of. Unfortunate soldiers, sick and at the 
point of death, beholding persons dressed like Nuns and Sisters 
of Charity, expected to hear from them the language of religion, 
in order to assist them in preparing for a Christian death. It can 
easily be imagined how greatly they were shocked to hear only 
lascivious expressions and the most infamous provocations to 
vice. These pretended Sisters of Charity were nothing else than 
professed prostitutes. Their president, a revolutionary princess, 
admits, in her memoirs, this melancholy fact. 

The King of Naples and General Cordova, commander-in- 
chief of the Spanish army, offered to General Oudinot the aid of 
their arms. He thanked them, but declined their offer, desiring, 
for the honor of the French army, that as it had begun, so it should 
complete the duty which it had undertaken. The French general 
represented, and with reason, to the Spanish commander, that 
he would have entered Rome several weeks sooner but for the 
diplomatic negotiations already alluded to. The Plenipotentiary, 
who conducted these negotiations, having been disavowed, the 
general held himself alone responsible, and it was his duty to 
simplify matters as much as possible. He urged, moreover, that 
when an army is besieging a place no foreign troops can approach 
it, unless their assistance is requested either by the besiegers or 
the besieged. The latter were far from having any claim to the 
protection of Spain, and the French army was in a position to 
meet every contingency. 

On the 30th June, 1849, the city surrendered, unconditionally. 
On 3rd July the French army entered Rome, amidst the joyous 
acclamations of the native Roman people. 

On the same day General Oudinot despatched Colonel Niel to 
Gaeta, in order to deliver to the Sovereign Pontiff the keys of 
his capital. Pius IX. was overjoyed at the arrival of the French 
officer. His people were now free. The war was at an end. Blood 
no longer flowed. There was nothing wanting to his satisfaction 

Pius IX. And His Time. 85 

and happiness. "O! speak to me of my children of Rome and 
France," he exclaimed. "How they must have suffered! How 
earnestly have I prayed for them!" He then listened with interest, 
and the feelings of a father, to the recital of the sufferings of the 
French army and their prolonged labors, which were patiently 
undergone; in order to save the edifices and monuments of Rome 
from irreparable destruction. Unable, at length, to contain his 
emotion, he spoke thus to Colonel Niel: "Colonel, I have often 
said, on other occasions, and I am happy to be able to repeat 
the same to-day, after so great a service, that I have always 
relied on France. That country had promised me nothing, but I 
understood full well, that when opportunity offered she would 
give to the Church her treasures, her blood, and what is, perhaps, 
still more difficult for her valiant children, that bravery which can 
restrain itself, that patience and perseverance to which is due the 
preservation of Rome, that treasure of the world, that beloved and 
sorely-tried city, towards which, during these days of exile, I have 
always looked in great anxiety of mind. Say to the commander- 
in-chief, to all the generals and all the officers — would it could 
also be said to every soldier of France! — that there are no bounds 
to my gratitude. My prayers for the prosperity of your country 
will be more fervent than ever. My love for the French people 
has been increased, if, indeed, anything could make it greater 
than it was, by the great service which I now acknowledge." [087] 

At the same time, Pius IX. addressed an appropriate letter Letter of Pius ix. to 
to General Oudinot. He recognized the well-known valor of General Oudmot. 
the French armies, which was sustained by the justice of the 
cause which they came to defend, and which won for them the 
meed of victory. In congratulating the general on the principal 
share which he bore in the important event, the Holy Father was 
careful to say that he rejoiced not over the bloodshed which had 
necessarily occurred, but in the triumph of order over anarchy, 
and because liberty was restored to honest and Christian people, 
for whom it would no longer be a crime to enjoy the property 

Pius IX. And His Time 

General Oudinot 
repairs to Gaeta and 
invites the Pope 
to return to his 


which God had bestowed upon them, and to adore Him, with 
becoming pomp of worship, without incurring the risk of being 
deprived of life or liberty. In the difficult circumstances which 
might arise, the Holy Father would rely on the Divine protection. 
As it might prove useful to the French army to be acquainted 
with the events of his Pontificate, he sent, along with his letter, 
a number of copies of the Allocution, in which these events 
are related. This paper, he stated, proved abundantly that the 
army had won a victory over the enemies of human society, and 
that their triumph, consequently, would awaken sentiments of 
gratitude in the breasts of all honest men throughout Europe and 
the whole civilized world. 

The President of the French Republic, Louis Napoleon, the 
French Minister of War and the National Assembly, all joined in 
congratulating General Oudinot and his army. Pius IX. had just 
appointed (31st July) a commission of three Cardinals for the 
government of the Roman States, when General Oudinot arrived 
at Gaeta, and urged the Pope to return himself to his capital. Pius 
IX. had already stated to M. de Corcelles, the Plenipotentiary 
of France, his objections to an immediate return. He now held 
the same language to General Oudinot. He could not, he said, 
so far forget the purely moral nature of his power as to bind 
himself in a positive way, when there was nothing settled as to 
matters of detail, and especially when he was called upon to 
speak in presence of a first-class Power, whose exigencies were 
no secret. Ought he to condemn himself to appear to act under the 
impulsion of force? If he did anything good, was it not necessary 
that his acts should be spontaneous, and should also have the 
appearance of being so? Were not his inclinations well known? 
Were they not calculated to inspire confidence? Nevertheless, it 
was his intention to return, in a few days, to his States, and to 
remain some time at Castel-Gandolfo, in the midst of the French 
army. General Oudinot returned to Rome fully assured of the 
speedy return of the Holy Father. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


About this time it became manifest that the French Republic 
desired to restore the Pope as a mere agent of their newly- 
instituted government. The French ministry, of which Odillon 
Barrot was the head, saw, with impatience, that Pontifical affairs 
were not proceeding to such a conclusion as they wished. 
Accordingly, General Oudinot was recalled and replaced by 
General Rostolan, the next in command. Two days later, a letter 
signed "Louis Napoleon," and addressed to Colonel Edgar Ney, 
who was also the bearer of it, was despatched to Rome. This 
letter contained insulting allusions to the Pontifical government; 
and its requirements would have annihilated, in the estimation 
of Europe, the independence of the Sovereign Pontiff, whilst 
personally dishonoring him. "I thus recapitulate," said the 
president, in this memorable epistle, "the temporal power of the 
Pope, a general amnesty, secularization of the administration, 
and liberal government." It was appointed that General Rostolan 
should publish this ill-timed letter, and carry it into effect. He 
refused to do so, tendered his resignation, and thus firmly replied: 
"Conscience requires that I should sacrifice my position and my 
sympathies. My successor, more fortunate than myself, will 
perhaps enjoy the signal honor to terminate peacefully the work 
which we have begun at the head of the army. As a soldier and 
a Christian, I will rejoice on account of the Sovereign Pontiff, 
who will have been restored to his people, and because of 
France, which will have accomplished a noble and most worthy 
mission." To the Odillon Barrot ministry, which at one time 
disowned the letter, and at another acknowledged it, and ordered 
its publication, the general declared that he would never identify 
himself with an act which, besides being unjust, would endanger 
the peace of all Europe. According to his view, which was the 
same as that of the French ambassadors, M. de Rayneval and M. 
de Corcelles, a general war would follow the official publication 
of the letter of 18th August; and such a war could not but prove 
fatal to the ideas of order which were beginning to resume their 

The French 

Republic tries 

to coerce the 
Pope. — Letter to 
Colonel Edgar 



Pius IX. And His Time 

Address of 


to the National 

Assembly of 



empire. He loved his country too well to bear part in incurring for 
it such fearful risks. Messrs. de Rayneval and de Corcelles wrote 
to the same effect, and communicated to the French Government 
the resolution of the Sovereign Pontiff to seek the protection of 
Austria, or even to repair to America, rather than submit to the 
constraint with which he was threatened. 

It was not, however, ordained that the conditions of the Pope's 
restoration should be decided by the President of the French 
Republic, or the Odillon Barrot ministry. The National Assembly 
of France took the matter in hand, and after a keen debate, which 
lasted three days — 13th, 18th and 19th October — came to a 
resolution favorable to the Holy See. There can be no doubt that 
the Chamber was greatly influenced by the powerful eloquence 
of M. de Montalembert. "It has been said," observed this orator, 
"that the honor of our flag was compromised by the expedition 
undertaken against Rome in order to destroy the Roman Republic 
and restore the authority of the Pope. All in this Assembly must 
feel insulted by this reproach, and cannot but repel it, as I do at 
this moment. No ! the honor of our flag was never compromised. 
No! never did this noble flag cover with its folds a more 
noble enterprise. History will tell. I confidently invoke its 
testimony and its judgment. History will throw a veil over all 
the ambiguity, tergiversation and contestation which have been 
pointed to with so much bitterness and so eager a desire to spread 
discord amongst us. It will ignore all this, or, rather, it will 
proclaim it all, in order that the greatness of the undertaking may 
become apparent from the number and nature of the difficulties 
that have been surmounted. 

"History will say that a thousand years from the time of 
Charlemagne, and fifty from that of Napoleon — a thousand years 
after Charlemagne had won for himself imperishable glory by 
restoring the Pontifical State, and fifty years after Napoleon, in 
the zenith of power and prestige, had failed in his endeavor to 
undo the work of his predecessor; history will say that France 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


has remained true to her traditions and deaf to odious counsels. 
History will say that thirty thousand Frenchmen, under the 
leadership of the worthy son of one of the giants of our great 
imperial glories, left the shores of their country, in order to 
re-establish at Rome, in the person of the Pope, right, equity, 
European and French interest. History will further say what Pius 
IX. himself said, in his letter of thanks to General Oudinot: 'The 
victory of the French arms is won over the enemies of human 
society.'' Yes! gentlemen, such will be the judgment of impartial 
history; and it will be one of the brightest glories of France and the 
nineteenth century. You will not attenuate, tarnish, eclipse this 
glory by plunging into a mass of contradictions, complications, 
and inextricable inconsistency. Know you what would dim for 
ever the lustre of the French flag? It would be to set it in 
opposition to the Cross, to the Tiara, which it has delivered. It 
would be to transform the soldiers of France, the protectors of 
the Pope, into his oppressors. It would be to exchange the role 
and the glory of Charlemagne for a pitiful mimicry of Garibaldi." 

A large majority of the legislative assembly agreed with 
Montalembert. The news of their decision, which was in 
accordance with the general sentiment of the French nation, 
was speedily conveyed to the Pontifical Court. It dispelled all 
the unpleasant apprehensions which had hitherto prevailed, and 
gave great satisfaction to the Holy Father. The influence which 
it exercised over his plans for the future may be learned from 
the reply which he gave to a deputation from the municipality of 
Rome, which now came to pray that he would return to his States. 
"It was repugnant to us," said he, "to return to our States, so long 
as France made it a question whether we should be independent. 
But now that a happy solution has been reached, which appears to 
put an end to all doubt on this point, we hope to be able, in a short 
time, to return to our city of Rome." Accordingly, on 12th April, 
1850, Pius IX. made his entrance into Rome amidst the dutiful 
and joyous acclamations of the French army and the Roman 

The Municipality 
of Rome invites the 
Pope to return. 


The Pope returns to 



Pius IX. And His Time 

State of religion 
in countries 

affected by the 
Photian schism and 
the Mahometan 


people. On the 1 8th day of the same month he formally blessed 
the arms and colors of France in front of St. Peter's Church. 
Thus ended at Rome a political revolution, which nothing less 
powerful than Catholic sentiment could have overcome. 

Whilst the comparatively small Pontifical State was agitated 
by revolution, the greater kingdom of the church was steadily 
pursuing, under the auspices of its august Chief, its grand career 
of progress and development. A new era seemed to have 
dawned over all those great countries which the Photian schism 
had so seriously affected. About the time of Pius the Ninth's 
accession, more favorable dispositions had come to prevail 
among the Greeks of Constantinople, of Syria, of Palestine, 
of Egypt. Among the Armenians and Chaldeans there were 
numerous conversions, whilst even the Turks showed a better 
feeling towards the Catholic people, among whom their lot was 
cast. We have already seen how well such sentiments were 
encouraged by the newly-elected Pontiff. His words of kindness 
were repaid by increased affection for the Catholic people, and 
the wish, not to say the belief, that when the Turkish Empire fell, 
the fragments of its once great inheritance would be gathered up 
by Catholics. "Are this belief and friendship," asks the Abbe 
Etienne, "an indication of the speedy reunion of the children of 
Mahomet with the great Christian family? We have much reason 
to think so, when we behold Islamism everywhere dwindling 
away and giving place to the true faith." Damascus, so sacred 
in Mussulman estimation, and so intolerant that no Christian 
could pass within its gates except bareheaded, and on paying 
a capitation tax, now beholds with pleasure the celebration of 
Catholic rites. So great was the change that in a short time 
all the inhabitants of a village in the neighborhood embraced 
the Catholic faith. The Mahometans who are most capable of 
appreciating religious questions, study Christianity secretly. Not 
long ago, a Turk of Damascus caused a Catholic priest to be 
called to his deathbed, and begged to be baptized. Great was the 

Pius IX. And His Time. 91 

surprise of the missionary to find him as well acquainted with 
the truths of religion as he was anxious to receive the sacrament 
of regeneration. A few moments later the good priest beheld his 
neophyte expire, expressing the most pious sentiments. 

In Russia, the most powerful seat of the great eastern schism, 
Catholics were long subjected to the most trying persecution. 
It is well known what influence the venerable Pontiff, Gregory 
XVI., exercised over the mind of the late Emperor Nicholas, and 
that he succeeded in causing him to mitigate the evils which 
weighed so heavily on his Catholic subjects. Pius IX. was still 
more successful. Having concluded a Concordat with the Czar, 
which was signed at Rome on the 3rd August, 1847, by Cardinal 
Lambruschini, on the part of the Holy See, and Counts Bloudoff 
and Boutenieff, on the part of Russia, Pius IX., in a consistory 
held on 3rd July of the same year, instituted bishops for the 
following Sees of the Russian Empire: The Metropolitan Church 
of Mohilow, the united dioceses of Luccoria and Zitomeritz, 
in Volhynia, the diocese of Vilna, in Poland, and a coadjutor, 
with right of succession, for the archbishopric of Mohilow. The 
Concordat contained 31 articles. Article 1st. Seven Roman 
Catholic dioceses are established in the Russian Empire — an [093] 
archbishopric and six bishoprics, viz.: the archbishopric of 
Mohilow, which comprises all those parts of the Empire which 
are not contained in the undermentioned dioceses. The Grand 
Duchy of Finland is also included in this archdiocese. The 
diocese of Vilna, comprising the governments of Vilna and 
Grodno, according to their present limits ; the diocese of Telsca, or 
Samogitia, comprising the governments of Courland and Kowno; 
the diocese of Minsk, comprising the government of Minsk, as 
at present limited; the diocese of Luceoria and Zitomeritz, 
containing the governments of Kiovia and Volhynia; the diocese 
of Kaminiec, comprising the government of Podolia; the new 
diocese of Kherson, containing the Province of Bessarabia, the 
governments of Khersonesus, Ecatherinaslaw, Taurida, Saratow 

92 Pius IX. And His Time 

and Astracan, together with the regions that are subject to the 
general government of the Caucasus. 

In glancing at the articles of the Concordat, the Catholic reader 
will be agreeably surprised to observe that in so many important 
things the wishes of the Holy Father were acceded to, whilst it 
is matter for regret that in regard to others the Plenipotentiaries 
could not come to an understanding. It is provided by the 2nd 
and 3rd articles that apostolic letters under the leaden seal shall 
determine the extent and limits of the dioceses, as indicated in 
article 1st. The decrees of execution shall express the number 
and the names of the parishes of each diocese, and shall be 
submitted for the sanction of the Holy See. The number of 
suffragan bishoprics, as settled by the apostolic letters of Pius 
VI. in 1789, is retained in the six ancient dioceses. In the 
following articles, from 4 to 10, it is agreed that the suffragan of 
the new diocese of Kherson shall reside in the town of Saratow. 
The annual allowance to the Bishop of Kherson shall be 4,480 
silver roubles. His suffragan shall have the same income as the 
other bishops of the Empire, viz.: 2,000 silver roubles. The 
chapter of the Cathedral Church of Kherson shall consist of nine 
members, viz.: two prelates or dignitaries, the president and 
[094] archdeacon; four canons, of whom three shall discharge the 

duties of theologian, penitentiary and rector; and three resident 
priests, or beneficiaries. In the new bishopric of Kherson there 
shall be a diocesan seminary, in which from fifteen to twenty-five 
students shall be supported at the cost of the government, the 
same as those who enjoy a pension in other seminaries. Until 
a Catholic bishop of the Armenian rite is named, the spiritual 
wants of the Armenian Catholics of the dioceses of Kherson and 
Kaminiec shall be provided for by applying the ninth chapter of 
the Council of Lateran, held in 1215. The bishops of Kaminiec 
and Kherson shall determine the number of Catholic Armenian 
ecclesiastics who shall be educated in their seminaries at the 
expense of the government. In each of these seminaries there 

Pius IX. And His Time. 93 

shall reside a Catholic Armenian priest, in order to instruct the 
students in the ceremonies of their national rite. As often as 
the spiritual wants of the Armenian Roman Catholics of the 
newly-instituted diocese of Kherson shall require it, the bishop, 
besides the means hitherto employed for this purpose, may send 
priests as missionaries, and the government will supply the funds 
that shall be necessary for their journeys and sustenance. 

Articles 1 1 and 12 provide that the number of dioceses in the 
Kingdom of Poland shall remain the same as ordained by the 
Apostolical Letters of Pius VII., of date 30th June, 1818. There 
is no change as to the number and designation of the suffragans 
of these dioceses. The appointment of bishops for the dioceses 
and the suffragan bishoprics of the Empire of Russia and the 
Kingdom of Poland shall only take effect after each nomination 
shall have been agreed upon between the Emperor and the Holy 
See. Canonical institution will be given by the Roman Pontiff in 
the usual form. 

In articles 13-20 are contained the following regulations: the 
bishop is the sole judge and administrator of the ecclesiastical 
affairs of his diocese, having due regard to the canonical 
obedience which he owes to the Holy Apostolic See. Certain 
affairs must be, in the first place, submitted to the deliberations 
of the diocesan consistory. Such affairs are decided by the [095] 
bishop, after having been examined by the consistory, which, 
however, is only consultative. The bishop is by no means bound 
to give the reasons of his decision, even in case of his opinion 
being different from that of the consistory. The other affairs of 
the diocese, which are called administrative, and among which 
are included cases of conscience, and, as has been said above, 
cases of discipline which are visited only by light punishments 
and pastoral admonitions, depend entirely on the authority and 
the spontaneous decision of the bishop. All the members of 
the consistory are ecclesiastics. Their nomination and their 
revocation belong to the bishop. The nominations are so made as 

94 Pius IX. And His Time 

not to displease the government. The officials of the consistorial 
chancery are confirmed by the bishop, on the presentation of the 
secretary of the consistory. The secretary of the bishop, who 
is charged with official and private correspondence, is named 
directly by the bishop; and an ecclesiastic, as the bishop thinks 
proper, may be chosen. The duties of the members of the 
consistory cease when the bishop dies or resigns, and also when 
the administration of a vacant See comes to an end. 

From articles 21-29 we read as follows: The bishop has the 
supreme direction of the teaching of doctrine and discipline in 
the seminaries of his diocese, according to the prescriptions of 
the Council of Trent. The choice of rectors, inspectors and 
Professors for the diocesan seminaries is reserved to the bishop. 
Before naming them, he must ascertain that, as regards their 
civil conduct, they will not give occasion to any objection on 
the part of the government. The Archbishop Metropolitan of 
Mohilow shall exercise in the ecclesiastical academy of St. 
Petersburg the same jurisdiction as does each bishop in his 
diocesan seminary. He is the sole chief of this academy — its 
supreme director. The council or directory of this academy is 
only consultative. The choice of the rector, the inspector and 
professors of this academy, shall be made by the archbishop, 
[096] after he has received the report of the Academical Council. The 

professors and assistant-professors of Theological science shall 
always be chosen among ecclesiastics. The other masters may 
be selected among lay persons, professing the Roman Catholic 
religion. The confessors of the students of each seminary and of 
the academy shall take no part in the disciplinary government of 
the establishment. They shall be chosen and nominated by the 
bishop or archbishop. When the limits of the dioceses shall have 
been fixed according to the new regulation, the archbishop, with 
the advice of the ordinaries, shall determine, once for all, the 
number of students that each diocese may send to the academy. 
The programme of studies in the seminaries shall be regulated 

Pius IX. And His Time. 95 

by the bishops. The archbishop shall decide upon that of the 
academy after having conferred with the Academical Council. 
When the rule of the ecclesiastical academy of St. Petersburg 
shall have been modified conformably with the principles agreed 
upon in the preceding articles, the Archbishop of Mohilow will 
send to the Holy See a report on the academy like that which 
was made by Archbishop Koromanski when the academy was 

Articles 30 and 31. Wherever the right of patronage does 
not exist, or has been discontinued for a certain time, parish 
priests shall be appointed by the bishop. They must not offend 
the government, and must have undergone examination and 
competition according to the rules laid down by the Council of 
Trent. Roman Catholic churches may be freely repaired at the 
expense of communities or individuals who shall please to take 
charge of this work. When their own resources are insufficient, 
they may apply to the Imperial Government in order to obtain 
assistance. New churches shall be constructed, and the number 
of parishes augmented, when such measures become necessary 
from the increase of population, the too great extent of existing 
parishes, or the difficulty of communications. 

Such matters as could not be agreed upon and embodied 
in the Concordat may be gleaned from the allocution which 

Pius IX. addressed, at the time, to the Cardinals. "Many [097] 
things of the greatest importance still remain, in regard to which 
the Plenipotentiaries could not come to an agreement, and the 
omission of which awakens our most lively solicitude, and causes 
us the utmost pain; for they concern, in the highest degree, the 
liberty of the church, its rights, its essential principles, and the 
salvation of the faithful in those Russian countries. We allude 
to that true and complete liberty, which ought to be secured to 
the Christian people, of being able, in regard to the things which 
relate to religion, to communicate, without impediment, with this 
Apostolic See, the centre of Catholic unity and truth, the Father 

96 Pius IX. And His Time 

and Master of all the Faithful. All men may understand how 
deeply grieved we are, when they call to mind the multiplied 
appeals which this Apostolic See has never ceased to cause to 
be heard at divers times, in order to obtain free communication 
of the faithful, not only in Russia, but also in other countries, 
where, in certain affairs of religion, it is seriously impeded, to the 
great loss of souls. We would speak of the property which ought 
to be restored to the clergy. We would have removed from the 
Episcopal Consistories the lay person chosen by the government, 
in order that, in these assemblies, the bishops may be able to 
act with all liberty. We must advert to the law according to 
which mixed marriages are not recognized as valid, until they 
have been blessed by a Russo-Greek Catholic priest; and also 
to the liberty which Catholics ought to possess of trying and 
judging their matrimonial causes, in eases of mixed marriages, 
by a Catholic ecclesiastical tribunal. Finally, we would allude 
to divers laws prevalent in Russia, which fix the age at which 
religious professions may be made, which destroy entirely the 
schools that are held in the houses of religious orders, which 
prevent the visits of provincial superiors, which forbid and 
interdict conversion to the Catholic faith." 

In this same allocution the Holy Father deplores the miserable 
state of the illustrious Ruthenian nation, which, dispersed 
[098] throughout the vast countries of Russia, is, from various causes, 

exposed to great dangers as regards salvation. Without bishops, 
they have none to guide them in the paths of righteousness, 
none to administer to them spiritual succour, or to warn them 
against the insidious approaches of heresy and schism. The Holy 
Father is confident that the Latin priests will bestow all their care 
and employ every available resource in affording spiritual aid to 
these "most dear children." "From our inmost soul," concludes 
the venerable Pontiff, "we exhort, earnestly and lovingly in the 
Lord, and urge the Ruthenians themselves to remain faithful and 
steadfast in the unity of the Catholic Church, or, if they have 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


been so unfortunate as to abandon it, to return to the bosom of 
their most loving mother, to have recourse to us, who, with God's 
assistance, will do whatever is best calculated to secure their 

As regards some of these highly important matters, the wishes 
of the Holy Father were acceded to by the Russian Emperor. 
The bishop of Kherson was allowed a second suffragan. It was 
also regulated that matrimonial and other ecclesiastical causes, 
whether in Russia proper or in the kingdom of Poland, should, 
on appeal from a sentence pronounced by the ordinary, be 
heard before the tribunal of the metropolitan, or before the more 
neighboring bishop, in case of judgment having been first given 
by the metropolitan. Such causes, in the event of final appeal, 
should be referred to Rome — to the tribunal of the Apostolic See. 

In considering, at some length, the Concordat with Russia, 
and the more favorable terms by which it was followed, we learn 
what hopes may be entertained as regards the spiritual well-being 
of the more numerous Catholics, Armenians and others, who will 
now, in all probability, come under the sway of Russia. 2 

The Society of the Holy Ghost had labored successfully in 
France, the Indies, Canada, China, Acadia, or Nova Scotia, 
the islands, Miquelon and St. Peter. In the countries referred 
to, there were bishops, vicars apostolic, of this society, and 
several missionary priests. In Cayenne and French Guiana, 
they maintained an apostolic prefect and twenty missionaries 
apostolic. The troubles of the French revolution all but 
extinguished this zealous and influential missionary society. It 
was revived in the year 1848, under the auspices of Pius IX., and 
resumed its labors under the title of Society of the Holy Ghost and 
the Immaculate Heart of Mary. During the negotiations which 
led to the restoration of this society, the Vicariate Apostolic 
of Madagascar became vacant by the death of Bishop Dalton. 

French colonies 
and foreign 

missions — Africa. 


This danger is past. 

98 Pius IX. And His Time 

Abbe Monnet, Superior of the Society of the Holy Ghost, was 
appointed to succeed him, and Rev. Abbe Liebermann, a 
distinguished convert from Judaism, was unanimously elected 
to the post of superior-general of the two united societies. The 
labors of Abbe Liebermann were crowned with complete success. 
In 1850, the Holy Father, in order to confirm and perpetuate the 
fruit of so much apostolic labor, erected three bishoprics — one 
in the low country of Guadeloupe, another at Fort Francis, in 
Martinica, and a third at St. Denis, of Bourbon Island. The 
eminent convert died in 1852, after having had the satisfaction 
to behold such great developments of his missionary work. The 
death of the first superior-general did not, by any means, retard 
the increase of the new society. On the contrary, new blessings 
seemed to descend upon it. Under the guidance of the second 
superior, the Abbe Schwindenhammer, who had been the friend 
and confidential counsellor of the first, the society came to be 
as an order of three choirs — Fathers, Friars, Sisters. To the Rev. 
Fathers, who were missionaries apostolic, the Father of the great 
Christian Family, Pius IX., assigned a field of labor, a hundred 
times more extensive than the land which was promised of old to 
the children of Israel — a territory from eleven to twelve hundred 
leagues in length, and broad in proportion. The friars were lay 
missionaries, whose duty it was to assist the Rev. Fathers, teach 
the neophytes the arts of Christian civilization, and change the 
deserts, the wild forest lands and dismal swamps, into smiling 
[ioo] fields. A brother, who is a printer, has already departed for 

those missions, carrying with him a complete set of types. The 
sisters, in order to draw down the mercy of heaven on the negro 
lands, devote themselves to prayer, works of charity and self- 
denial, perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and the 
continual offering of themselves in sacrifice for the salvation of 
the souls that are most neglected. They would even, if it were 
the call of heaven, repair to Africa, and found there religious 
communities, in order to confirm the good work commenced by 

Pius IX. And His Time. 99 

the missionaries. So early as their first year, 1852, they had 
established two or three houses in France. This great missionary 
society came into existence at a singularly opportune moment, 
and none can tell what an important part it may bear in carrying 
the light of Christianity into that benighted Africa which modern 
discovery, the discovery of our age, the age of Pius IX., is now 
throwing open to the many blessed influences of civilization. 

In the early days of the Pontificate of Pius IX., the Guinea 
missions extended over regions of negro-land nine hundred 
leagues from east to west, and seven hundred leagues from 
north to south, with a coast-line of eleven hundred leagues. 
These African countries are very populous; and there are towns 
of 20,000, 30,000, and even 60,000 inhabitants. The greatest 
barbarism prevails. With the exception of a few Mahometans in 
Sanegambia, the people are idolators. They are also cannibals, 
and human sacrifices are frequent. Polygamy is one of their 
vices, and those on the sea coast of Guinea have learned many 
others from contact with Europeans, such as hard drinking and 
all kinds of excess. Their women are in a degraded condition, 
doing all the drudgery, and not being admitted to an equality 
with their husbands. Notwithstanding all this, the missionaries 
give them a high character. They bear pain with fortitude, and 
have a horror of slavery, although so many of them are reduced 
to servitude by greedy traders. A sea captain once offered a 
negro any amount of money, on condition that he should become 
his slave. "All the gold your ship could hold," said the spirited 
African, "is no price for my liberty." They are very sensitive, [ioi] 
grateful, and even affectionate towards those who befriend them. 
To the missionaries they always showed hospitality; and the 
peaceful explorer, Livingstone, and his friends generally met 
with the same kindness. If it was otherwise with the adventurous 
discoverer, Stanley, he owed the hostility with which he was 
often received by the African tribes to the armed force by which 
he was accompanied, and his determination to traverse their 

100 Pius IX. And His Time 

countries, whether they liked it or not. They listened attentively 
to the missionaries, and this circumstance induced these excellent 
persons to express the belief that, with proper precautions, they 
may be induced to embrace the Christian faith. Many things 
have occurred, in the course of this favored age, to encourage 
this hope for the future welfare of so many millions of the human 
race. Science has thrown its light into the hitherto dark regions 
of Central Africa, where no European had, as yet, been able to 
penetrate. The petty and corrupting traffic on the coasts will 
speedily expand into wide extended and improving commerce. 
The slave trade is gradually diminishing, and must, ere long, 
disappear under the blessed influences, more active than ever, 
which are now at work; the whole church is moved by the edifying 
narratives of zealous missionaries; and the countenance of the 
Apostolic See is willingly bestowed on missionary effort. So, it is 
not too much to say that, with such auspicious commencements 
in the age of Pius IX., the days of some future Pontiff, at no very 
distant epoch, will be blessed to behold Africa, so long neglected, 
happily, at length, brought within the pale of Christianity and 

The missionaries speak of a Prince, whose history, if related by 
less trustworthy parties, could not fail to be considered fabulous. 
His territory is situated on the river Gabon. He speaks English 
and French fluently, as well as an African dialect called Boulou. 
He is a man of gentle and polished manners, and possesses the 
self-control of the most accomplished European. In point of 
[102] sobriety, he is equal to the best of Europeans. He never drinks 

intoxicating liquor, and forbids his children to use it. He is 
beloved by his subjects, and respected by the neighboring tribes, 
who hold with him commercial and friendly relations. He shows 
great friendship to the missionaries, and takes great delight in 
assisting them. A good bishop is also mentioned, whose horror 
of the slave trade was such that he would not allow a negro to 
serve him. In addition to the mission-house, which is a solid 

Pius IX. And His Time. 101 

stone building, there is also a seminary, where some of the native 
youth are educated for the duties of the Christian priesthood. 
The aboriginal populations receive the bishop and the heads of 
the missions with extraordinary honors. The salubrity of the 
climate is favorably spoken of, being nowise inferior to that 
of France. Everything appeared to favor the Guinea missions 
in the early years of the Pontificate of Pius IX. With the aid 
of continued countenance and encouragement, they cease not 
to be developed every day more and more throughout the vast 
countries extending from Senegambia to the Equator. At Joal and 
St. Mary of Gambia, there were flourishing missions so early as 
1852. In 1850 M. LAbbe Arlabosse founded a mission at Galam, 
150 leagues in the interior of Senegal. Another mission was 
successfully established at Grand Bassam, in 1851. The printing 
press, already referred to, has contributed powerfully to facilitate 
missionary work. Seven diverse languages are now taught, viz.: 
Wolof, Serer, Saracole, Abule, Mpongue, Bingue and Balu, or 

It is somewhat remarkable that in all the countries connected as 
colonies with Great Britain, where Protestantism is so persistently 
adhered to, there should prevail the greatest liberty as regards the 
exercise of the Catholic religion. Thus, Cape Colony (Cape of 
Good Hope) was no sooner transferred from the rule of Holland 
to that of Britain than the Holy Father was enabled to extend 
his care to the Catholics of that remote land. A bishop was 
appointed, and missions speedily established. There are now 
three bishops, vicars apostolic, at Cape Town, Graham's Town, 
Natal. The islands Mauritius and Bourbon, each of which has a [103] 
population of more than 100,000 souls, share the solicitude of the 
church and its august Head. They are not both equally favored 
by their civil rulers. The former was annexed to Great Britain 
in 1810. The Holy Father provides for its spiritual welfare, 
confiding its administration to a bishop and a sufficient number 
of priests, all of whom receive salaries from the government. The 

102 Pius IX. And His Time 

bishops hitherto have been members of the illustrious order of 
St. Benedict, and some of them have enjoyed a high reputation 
in the church, such as the learned and eloquent Bishop Morris, 
and the pious and accomplished Bishop Collier. Bourbon Island, 
until of late, 1 850, when a bishop was appointed, had not been so 
fortunate. An eminent French writer rather satirically remarks, 
that it would have to wait until France ceded all her colonies to the 
British. There are, however, some priests who, together with the 
bishop, minister to the spiritual wants of the people. Great efforts 
have been made to establish missions in the large and populous 
Island of Madagascar, which, according to geographers, is 1,000 
miles in length. 

The priests of the congregation of St. Vincent of Paul, as 
zealous now as in the days of their illustrious founder, have 
penetrated into Abyssinia, and are laboring to bring about a 
complete reconciliation of that once eminently Christian nation 
to the church of Pius IX. The ^Ethiopian may not, indeed, change 
his skin. But, according to the reports of the missionaries, 
these people are changing their ideas, and giving proofs of a 
disposition to return to the centre of Christian unity. Everywhere 
the missionaries are received with kindness by princes and 
people, and favored with a respectful hearing. 

So great is the reverence of the nations of the Turkish Empire 
for the character of the Pope, that one would say that he had a 
Concordat with those nations and their chiefs. The legate of the 
Holy See, Archbishop Auvergne, of Iconium, was received with 
the greatest honor by the Sovereign of iEgypt, on occasion of 
[104] his legation to that country and Syria. A Catholic bishop was 

established at Alexandria, a city so intimately associated with 
the memory of Saint Athanasius. His jurisdiction extends over 
the ^Ethiopian countries, and this circumstance, considering their 
relations in bygone ages with the Patriarchs of Alexandria, 
facilitates their communion with the centre of unity. The 
Catholic bishop of Cairo, assisted by thirty priests, so long 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


ago as 1840, governed a flock of nearly twenty thousand Copts 
of the ancient race of iEgypt. This body of faithful Christians is 
daily increasing, by the adherence of other Copts who had fallen 
into the Eutichyan heresy, more from want of instruction than 
obstinacy. Nothing could surpass the generosity of the Khedive 
towards the church. He presented to the Pope several marble 
columns, for the restoration of the Basilica of St. Paul at Rome, 
and built for the missionaries and sisters of St. Vincent de Paul 
a college, schools, and an hospital in the city of Alexandria. At 
Tunis and Tripoli there are 7,000 Catholics, who are ministered 
to by nine priests of the order of St. Francis. So early as 
1 840, Sisters of Charity went from France in order to establish a 
community at Tunis, with the full concurrence of the Mussulman 

It is well known that as soon as a French colony was founded 
at Algiers, a bishop was appointed. That African Christendom, so 
happily commenced, still prospers, and extends its labors under 
the auspices of the august Head of the church. It is consoling 
to observe that there are so many nascent and even flourishing 
churches around the vast continent of Africa, from Senegambia 
and Sierra Leone, by the Cape of Good Hope, the islands on the 
south-east coast, ^Ethiopia and iEgypt, to the gates of Hercules. 
They stand there as sentinels, ready to intimate the moment when 
the army of the Cross may penetrate to the central continent, and 
conquer new kingdoms to the cause of Christ. This is surely not 
too much to hope for in an age when science has done so much, 
and commerce, that great handmaid of civilization, is opening a 
highway to the darkest recesses of the wide and long-lost heathen 

Some serious-minded Catholics of Germany, dreading lest a 
national or schismatical church should come to be established in 
that country, conceived the happy idea of organizing, under the 
auspices of Pius IX., associations of laymen, who made it their 
duty to assist the clergy in everything that could tend to improve 




of Pius IX.— State 

of religion in 


104 Pius IX. And His Time 

morals and education, relieve suffering, and restore the liberty 
and rights of the church, whilst they studied, at the same time, 
to impart a spirit of faith to the pursuits of science, the arts, and 
even the more humble occupations of trade. The chief founder 
of these associations, Mr. Francis Joseph Busz, has written a 
book, in which he shows what progress they had already made 
in 1851, and what it still remained for them to accomplish. They 
continued to prosper, and gave birth to associations of a like 
nature. Thus, at Cologne, Abbe Kolping, Vicar of the Cathedral, 
founded a society of Catholic Companions, the object of whose 
institute was, that they should spend their leisure hours together 
in a Christian manner, and increase the knowledge suited to 
their state of life, instead of losing their time, their money and 
their morals in taverns. By the year 1852, such associations of 
workmen had taken root in no fewer than twenty-five cities in 

Ever since the Thirty Years' War, Germany had been distracted 
by religious divisions. And yet the sectarian spirit does not appear 
to have been so bitter as in some other countries. There was at 
least a desire for religious peace and union. This is sufficiently 
expressed in the articles of the treaty of Westphalia, which 
seems to have been intended as a temporary arrangement for the 
pacification of the country, until peace should be permanently 
established "by the agreement of all parties on points of religion;" 
"until all controversies should be terminated by an amicable and 
universal understanding." "But if, which God forbid! people 
cannot come to such amicable agreement on the controverted 
points of religion, that this convention shall, nevertheless, be 
[106] perpetual, and this peace always continue." Thus was the great 

treaty only a preliminary of that lasting peace which can only 
be finally concluded when all minds and hearts are united in the 
bonds of a common faith. 

Whilst many good men labored to bring about this most 
desirable end, others, such as Frederic of Prussia, and Joseph II. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 105 

of Austria, by ill-advised measures, and the countenance which 
they gave to unsound and even irreligious doctrines, sowed the 
seeds of anarchy and unbelief, which failed not, in due time, to 
produce fruit according to their kind, and well-nigh accomplished 
the overthrow of society as well as that of the Christian Church. 
The Austrian Emperor appears to have understood the situation, 
and has generally maintained friendly relations with the Chief 
Pastor. Germany, besides, has not been without able and pious 
men, who have nobly sustained the cause of Truth and Union. 
Among these are particularly deserving of honorable mention the 
Counts Stolberg, father and son, whose writings have exercised a 
salutary influence. Whilst many other noble laymen contributed, 
like them, to the regeneration of their country, others, who were 
noble only in the ranks of literature and science, vied in their 
efforts with the learned of noble birth. The elder Gcerres headed 
the Catholic movement when Prussia so cruelly persecuted the 
Archbishop of Cologne. So good an example was not lost on the 
son. The younger Goerres ceased not to emulate his worthy parent 
until the day of his death, in 1852. Another distinguished author, 
who, by his writings, greatly contributed to inform and encourage 
the Catholics of Germany, was Mr. Francis Joseph Busz, already 
mentioned in connection with the associations of Pius IX. He was 
a native of Baden, and an Aulic Counsellor of the Grand Duke. 
He had also been a member of the great National Parliament, 
which assembled at Frankfort for the purpose of restoring German 
unity. The best-known of his works are: Catholic Association 
of Germany, and the necessity of reform in the instruction and 
education of the Catholic secular clergy of Germany. Some of 
his remarks may be appropriately quoted, as they throw light [107] 
on the present (1877-78) state of Germany, and explain in great 
measure the extraordinary relations between Church and State in 
the New German Empire: "The year 1848 proved to us Germans 
that we could not rely on our governments. Both diplomacy and 
bureaucracy are, and will remain, incorrigible. Our misery is, 

106 Pius IX. And His Time 

indeed, great. Dissension prevails among our good citizens; the 
ill-meaning are united. The Revolutionary War of 1848 and 1849 
was a war of principles, but without results. It was repressed, but 
not exhausted. It keeps alive under the appearances by which it 
is concealed. The inexhaustible volcano is at work amongst us, 
not only since 1848, but for three hundred years. The abjuration 
of law, and even of all principle of right, is only the form or 
expression; the essence of our malady is the denial of God and 
His Church. The revolution is apostacy, the disunion of the 
nation is schism, its anarchy Atheism. Whoever, like myself, has 
witnessed the public negotiations of Germany, knows full well 
that the political struggle was, for a long time, and particularly for 
the last three years, a contest between the religious confessions. 
Such evolutions of evil possess a certain life, although it be 
only that which leads to dissolution. They spring one from 
another, and the new growth is always an improvement on that 
by which it was preceded. I say it with sorrow. The strife of 
political parties comes at last to be civil war, which, in its turn, 
becomes a religious war, and such war soon grows to a war of 
unbelief against Faith, of antichrist against Christ. The end is not 
uncertain. Christ will be victorious; for it is appointed that the 
power of hell shall not prevail." In such a state of things the first 
duty of German Catholics is that they be united. It is necessary 
that the German church should remain in intimate union with the 
Holy Apostolic See, relinquishing all pretension to be a separate 
National Church. 

The aspiration of our author, so warmly expressed in 1850, that 
the German Episcopate should, in mind and action, be one body 
[108] in the nation, acting and suffering together, appears, in these 

later days, to have been realized. It was also his firm conviction 
that it behooved them to labor to obtain complete liberty of action 
for the church, particularly in forming an exemplary clergy, both 
in the lesser and greater seminaries, as well as in those higher 
institutions, the German universities. Neither should the laity fail 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


in the fulfilment of all Christian and charitable duties. 

It is well known that, in ancient times, no countries in the 
world were more Catholic than Spain and and Portugal. The 
great wealth and power and glory to which they attained was, one 
would say, a mark of Heaven's approbation. Wealth, however, 
is a dangerous possession. In the countries referred to it induced 
corruption and degeneracy. Principles of anarchy came to be 
disseminated, devolution on revolution followed. The authority 
of the Chief Pastor was resisted. The ministers of religion and the 
religious orders were treated with contempt — were persecuted 
in lands where they had been so long cherished and revered. 
The children of a corrupt nobility were sent to govern the 
provinces and churches of the falling Empire. The result was, 
it is superfluous to say, the decline of religion — the overthrow 
of the once flourishing churches of Spain and Portugal. And yet 
were they not destined to perish wholly. A remnant was left; and 
it was appointed that this remnant should take root and fructify 
in a soil which trials and persecution had prepared for a new 
growth. It was reserved for the age of Pius IX. to behold Spain 
and Portugal renew their early fervor. They have returned to 
the centre of Catholic unity; and in both countries arrangements 
have been entered into for staying the spoliation of ecclesiastical 
property, appointing learned and edifying bishops to the vacant 
Sees, restoring seminaries and clerical education. The clergy, 
who had been infected more or less by the Jansenist heresy, now 
purified in the crucible of persecution, have resumed the sound 
doctrines and the heroic virtues of the apostolic men who will 
ever be the brightest glory of their land — Thomas of Villa-Nova, 
Francis Xavier, Ignatius of Loyola, Peter of Alcantara, Francis 
Borgia, St. John of the Cross, and Saint Theresa. The Holy See, 
with the concurrence of the Spanish Government, has organized 
anew the churches of Spain. In the consistory of 3rd July, 1848, 
Pope Pius IX. instituted bishops for the following Sees: Segovia 
and Calahorra, in Old Castile; Tortosa and Vich, in Catalonia; 

of Spain and 
Portugal, and their 
colonies — Restoration 
under the auspices 
of Pius IX. 


108 Pius IX. And His Time 

Porto Rico, in North America; Cuenca and St. Charles de Aucud 
de Chilce, in South America. This last-named diocese, at the time 
of the appointment, was newly erected. 

state of the From the epoch of the "Reformation," when the ancient 
Catholic church in c^oiic hierarchy of England, which had been so successfully 

England prior to 

1850. founded by St. Augustine and the disciples of St. Columba, 

was swept away, until the year 1850, the church was missionary, 
and governed, as missions usually are, by prefects, who may 
be arch-priests, or vicars-apostolic, with episcopal titles. Until 
the year 1625, the English mission was under the guidance of 
an arch-priest. In that year Pope Gregory II. appointed a vicar- 
apostolic for all England. Circumstances appearing favorable to 
the church after the accession of King James II., Pope Innocent 
XI. placed the English mission under the spiritual charge of 
four vicars-apostolic, who were bishops, with titles taken from 
churches, in partibus infidelium. The country was, at the same 
time, divided into four missionary districts — the London, the 
Eastern, the Midland and the Western. The numbers of Catholics 
having greatly increased during the early portion of the present 
century, the Holy Father, Gregory XVI., took into consideration 
the new requirements that had arisen, by letters apostolical, 
of date 3rd July, 1840, made a new ecclesiastical division 
of the English counties, and doubled the number of vicars- 
apostolic. There were now eight districts under the spiritual 
jurisdiction of these vicars-apostolic, who governed and were 
governed by the wise constitutions given to their predecessors 
by Pope Benedict XIV. Meanwhile, the state of the Catholics of 

[no] England was rapidly improving. Relieved of so many of their 

disabilities by the gracious Act of 1829, there were no longer any 
serious legal impediments to the legitimate development of their 
church. It grew accordingly, and by the year 1840 had become 
comparatively flourishing. It possessed many stately churches, 
eight or ten important colleges, the buildings of which were of 
a high order of architecture; numerous charitable institutions, 

Pius IX. And His Time. 109 

each of considerable extent; over six hundred public churches 
or chapels, and eight hundred clergy. Many of the most ancient 
families of the land were among its devoted adherents, and it 
also claimed a not unequal share of the intellect and learning, 
the literary and scientific distinction of the country. Many of the 
British colonies had already been favored, and not without the full 
concurrence of the Imperial government, with that more suitable 
and normal state of church government, which depends on the 
institution of bishops in ordinary. Was the Mother Country, the 
seat of empire, whose church was so much more developed than 
that of any of the colonies, alone to be deprived of so great an 
advantage? Were the Catholics of England, who were certainly 
in no respect behind the rest of their fellow-countrymen, even 
in an age of light and improvement, to rest satisfied with a 
primitive state of things, when a broader, a more free, and in 
every way a more beneficial system of spiritual rule was within 
their reach? The Chief Pastor was willing to inaugurate such 
rule, provided that he found, on examination, that it was suited 
to the spiritual state and religious wants of the Catholic people. 
There was nothing, besides, in the legislation of the country that 
could be called an impediment to a new and better condition of 
ecclesiastical government. 

For some time the Catholics of England had desired that Pius ix. restores the 
their church should enjoy the advantage of being governed by En § llsh Hierarchy. 
bishops in ordinary. So early as the year 1834, they petitioned 
the Holy See to this effect. At that time, however, nothing was 
concluded. In 1847 the vicars-apostolic assembled in London, 

and deputed two of their number to bear a petition to the [ill] 
Holy Father, earnestly praying for the long-desired boon. It was 
craved, not as a mark of triumphant progress, far less as an act 
of aggression on the law-established church, but simply in order 
to afford greater facility for the administration of the affairs of 
the church, and more effectually to promote the edification of 
the Catholic people. The existing code of government had been 

110 Pius IX. And His Time 

adopted about a hundred years before, when heavy penal laws, 
together with endless disabilities, were in force, and religious 
liberty was unknown. Part of this code had been repealed by 
Pope Gregory XVI. But it still tended to embarrass rather than 
to aid and guide. Since Emancipation, in 1829, the Catholic 
church had greatly expanded, and the bishops, vicars-apostolic, 
were in a situation of great difficulty, as they were most anxious 
to be guarded against arbitrary decisions by fixed rules, whilst 
as yet none were provided for them. No doubt the system of 
church government by vicars-apostolic could have been amended 
and made more suitable to the altered circumstances of the 
church. But it would have been necessarily complicated, and 
at best could only have been a temporary arrangement. It 
was thought expedient, therefore, that the ordinary mode of 
church government should be extended to the Catholic church 
in England, in as far as was compatible with its social position. 
It was, accordingly, necessary that there should be a hierarchy. 
The canon law could not be applied under vicars-apostolic, 
nor could provincial synods be held, however necessary their 
action might be, without a metropolitan and suffragan bishops. 
The vicars-apostolic petitioned only with a view to improve 
the internal organization of the church. They had no idea of 
attacking any other body, and surely never dreamt of rivalry with 
the established Anglican church. What they did, besides, was 
perfectly within the law, and according to the rights of liberty 
of conscience. The Holy Father kindly listened to the petition, 
and referred it for further consideration to the congregation of 
Propaganda. When every point was carefully examined, and 
[112] objections satisfactorily replied to, the favor petitioned for was 

granted. Difficulties having been started in regard to some matter 
of detail, the publication of the new code of church administration 
was delayed. These difficulties were removed the following year 
by Bishop Ullathorne. But the measure was again retarded by 
the revolution which broke out at Rome in 1848. The delay was 

Pius IX. And His Time. 1 1 1 

not without its uses. It gave time to the statesmen of England 
to become acquainted with and consider the measure of reform 
which was proposed for adoption in the internal organization of 
the Catholic church in England. It was officially communicated 
to them when printed, in 1848. They made no objection. And 
yet, when it was promulgated in 1850, their chief spoke of it, 
in his ill-timed letter to the Bishop of Durham, as "insolent 
and insidious." For many an age to come, Catholics will read 
with astonishment that so inoffensive an act of the Holy See, 
done at the request of the Catholic bishops of England, and 
in the interest of the Catholic people, at the time some seven 
millions in number, should have excited the anger of so great 
a portion of the English nation. The isle was literally frighted 
from its propriety. From the Queen on her throne to the humblest 
villager, all were seized with sudden and unaccountable fear, as 
if the monarchy had been threatened with immediate overthrow. 
The Queen, in terror, called her Council of State around her. 
But her chief adviser, a weak-minded old man, had very little 
comfort to bestow. He could only help her Majesty's bishops 
to inflame the public mind. In all conscience, they had done 
quite enough in this direction without his assistance. The spirit 
of bigotry was enkindled, and the clergy, with their chiefs, 
gave proof of their bitter hostility through every newspaper of 
the land. This acrimonious opposition was, however, chiefly 
confined to the ministers of the church by law established. 
They believed, or pretended to believe, that the titles and legal 
rights of their bishops were aimed at, whilst, in reality, care 
had been taken to avoid offending them, or violating the law, 
by conferring on the new bishops the titles of the ancient Sees 
which were held by the established church. It is impossible [113] 
to mention anything connected with the establishment of the 
hierarchy which can at all explain the violence of the bishops and 
clergy generally of the establishment. The popular commotion 
arose from misconception and the absurd falsehoods that were 

112 Pius IX. And His Time 

industriously disseminated. The masses were still raging, when 
Dr. Wiseman, who had just been raised to the dignity of 
Cardinal, published an appeal to the people of England, in 
which he showed that the measure which had occasioned so 
much disturbance concerned only the internal organization of the 
Catholic church, that the Pope had not sought such a measure, 
but had only acceded to it at the earnest request of the bishops, 
vicars-apostolic of England: that there was nothing connected 
with it contrary to the laws of the country, or that could not 
be reconciled with liberty of conscience, which was now so 
completely and generally recognized. It was as ridiculous as it 
was illiberal to heap torrents of abuse on the Pope, as if he had 
sought to usurp the rights of the Crown, or seize on the territory 
and revenues of the established Anglican church. As for himself, 
he was reviled because he had received the title of Archbishop 
of Westminster, whilst, in reality, as regarded the church of that 
name, and any territory or property connected with it, it was only 
an empty title. He was to be metropolitan. The title of London was 
inhibited by law. Southwark was to be itself a diocese. To have 
taken the title of a subordinate portion of the great metropolis, 
such as Finsbury or Islington, would only have excited ridicule, 
and caused the new episcopate to be jeered at. Westminster 
was naturally selected, although not by himself, as giving an 
honorable and well-known title. He was glad that it was chosen, 
not because it was the seat of the courts of law, or of parliament, 
but because it brought the real point of the controversy more 
clearly and strikingly before the opponents of the hierarchy. 
"Have we, in anything, acted contrary to law? And if not, why 
are we to be blamed?" But he rejoiced, also, for another reason. 
[114] The chapter of Westminster had been the first to protest against 

the new archiepiscopal title, as though some practical attempt 
at jurisdiction within the Abbey had been intended. To this 
more than absurd charge, the Cardinal eloquently replied: "The 
diocese, indeed, of Westminster, embraces a large district, but 

Pius IX. And His Time. 1 1 3 

Westminster proper consists of two very different parts. One 
comprises the stately Abbey, with its adjacent palaces and its 
royal parks. To this portion the duties and occupations of the 
dean and chapter are mainly confined, and they shall range there 
undisturbed. To the venerable old church I may repair, as I 
have been wont to do. But perhaps the dean and chapter are 
not aware, that were I disposed to claim more than the right to 
tread the Catholic pavement of that noble building, and breathe 
its air of ancient consecration, another might step in with a prior 
claim. For successive generations there has existed ever, in the 
Benedictine order, an Abbot of Westminster, the representative 
in religious dignity of those who erected and beautified and 
governed that church and cloister. Have they ever been disturbed 
by this titular? Have they heard of any claim or protest on his 
part touching their temporalities? Then let them fear no greater 
aggression now. Like him, I may visit, as I have said, the old 
Abbey, and say my prayer by the shrine of good St. Edward, and 
meditate on the olden times, when the church filled without a 
coronation and multitudes hourly worshipped without a service. 
But in their temporal rights, or their quiet possession of any 
dignity and title, they will not suffer. Whenever I go in I will 
pay my entrance fee, like other liege subjects, and resign myself 
meekly to the guidance of the beadle, and listen without rebuke 
when he points out to my admiration detestable monuments, or 
shows me a hole in the wall for a confessional. Yet this splendid 
monument, its treasures of art and its fitting endowments, form 
not the parts of Westminster which will concern me; for there 
is another part which stands in frightful contrast, though in 
immediate contact with this magnificence. In ancient times the 
existence of an abbey in any spot, with a large staff of clergy [115] 
and ample revenues, would have sufficed to create around it a 
little paradise of comfort, cheerfulness and ease. This, however, 
is not now the case. Close under the Abbey of Westminster 
there lie concealed labyrinths of lanes and courts, and alleys and 

114 Pius IX. And His Time 

slums, nests of ignorance, vice, depravity and crime, as well 
as of squalor, wretchedness and disease; whose atmosphere is 
typhus, whose ventilation is cholera; in which swarms a huge 
and almost countless population, in great measure, nominally, at 
least, Catholic; haunts of filth which no sewerage committee can 
reach; dark corners which no lighting board can brighten. This 
is the part of Westminster which alone I covet, and which I shall 
be glad to claim and to visit, as a blessed pasture in which sheep 
of Holy Church are to be tended, in which a bishop's godly work 
has to be done, of consoling, converting and preserving. And if, 
as I humbly trust in God, it shall be seen that this special culture, 
arising from the establishment of our hierarchy, bears fruits of 
order, peacefulness, decency, religion and virtue, it may be that 
the Holy See shall not be thought to have acted unwisely, when it 
bound up the very soul and salvation of a Chief Pastor with those 
of a city, whereof the name, indeed, is glorious, but the purlieus 
infamous — in which the very grandeur of its public edifices is 
as a shadow to screen from the public eye sin and misery the 
most appalling. If the wealth of the Abbey be stagnant, and not 
diffusive; if it in no way rescue the neighboring population from 
the depths in which it is sunk, let there be no jealousy of any 
one who, by whatever name, is ready to make the latter his care, 
without interfering with the former." 

In the passage which follows, the established clergy are rather 
unceremoniously handled; and not undeservedly, for there can be 
no doubt that their reckless diatribes in the pulpit, on the platform, 
and in the press, were the chief cause of the unhallowed uproar 
which attended the publication of the new and much-needed 
organization of the Catholic church in England. It certainly 
[116] was not their fault if the country was not disgraced by deeds 

of violence. In one or two places, indeed, such things were 
attempted. At a town in the north of England, where there 
is a Catholic mission, a mob of excited people threatened the 
chapel and priest's house. The presence of a counter-mob from 

Pius IX. And His Time. 1 1 5 

a neighboring colliery speedily restored tranquillity. In another 
town a crowd of the unwashed were proceeding to burn the 
Pope and Cardinal in effigy, when these august persons were 
wisely seized by order of the magistrates, and, with some of 
their unruly escort, secured within the prison walls. Although a 
few hired ruffians could attempt such things (it is known that 
those last named were hired), the English people were far from 
contemplating anything like violence. So it is with no small 
pleasure that is here recorded the high compliment paid to them 
in the following eloquent passage of Cardinal Wiseman's appeal: 
"I cannot conclude," he says towards the end, "without one 
word on the part which the clergy of the Anglican church have 
acted in the late excitement. Catholics have been their principal 
theological opponents, and we have carried on our controversies 
with them temperately, and with every personal consideration. 
We have had no recourse to popular arts to debase them; we 
have never attempted, even when the current of public opinion 
has set against them, to turn it to advantage, by joining in any 
outcry. They are not our members who yearly call for returns 
of sinecures or episcopal incomes; they are not our people who 
form antichurch-and-state associations; it is not our press which 
sends forth caricatures of ecclesiastical dignitaries, or throws 
ridicule on clerical avocations. With us the cause of truth and 
of faith has been held too sacred to be advocated in any but 
honorable and religious modes. We have avoided the tumult 
of public assemblies and farthing appeals to the ignorance of 
the multitude. But no sooner has an opportunity been given 
for awakening every lurking passion against us than it has been 
eagerly seized by the ministers of the Establishment. The pulpit 
and the platform, the church and the town hall, have been equally 
their field of labor; and speeches have been made and untruths [117] 
uttered, and calumnies repeated, and flashing words of disdain 
and anger and hate and contempt, and of every unpriestly and 
unchristian and unholy sentiment, have been spoken, that could 

116 Pius IX. And His Time 

be said against those who almost alone have treated them with 
respect. And little care was taken at what time or in what 
circumstances these things were done. If the spark had fallen 
upon the inflammable materials of a gunpowder-treason mob, 
and made it explode, or, what was worse, had ignited it, what 
cared they? If blood had been inflamed and arms uplifted, and 
the torch in their grasp, and flames had been enkindled, what 
heeded they? If the persons of those whom consecration makes 
holy, even according to their own belief, had been seized, like the 
Austrian general, and ill-treated, and perhaps maimed, or worse, 
what recked they? These very things were, one and all, pointed 
at as glorious signs, should they take place, of high and noble 
Protestant feeling in the land, as proofs of the prevalence of an 
unpersecuting, a free, inquiring, a tolerant gospel creed! 

"Thanks to you, brave and generous and noble-hearted people 
of England! who would not be stirred up by those whose duty it 
is to teach you, gentlemen, meekness and forbearance, to support 
what they call a religious cause, by irreligious means; and would 
not hunt down, when bidden, your unoffending fellow-citizens, 
to the hollow cry of 'No Popery,' and on the pretence of a fabled 

The London Times might well say, referring to this magnificent 
appeal, that the Cardinal had at length spoken English. It was 
easy to mystify the people in regard to theological utterances. 
They could be no longer deceived now that the Chief of the 
new hierarchy had addressed them in round Saxon terms, about 
the meaning of which there could be no mistake. The appeal 
first published in the London Times was reproduced in all the 
newspapers of the country. The public mind was tranquillized, 
and very little was heard, afterwards, of the "Papal aggression." 
The Prime Minister, however, was bound, for the sake of 
[118] consistency, to do something. What he did was highly in 

favor of the hierarchy. It proved that everything had been done 
according to law, simply by the fact that parliament was urged 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


to make a new law by which everything that had been done 
would be illegal. This was the famous Ecclesiastical Titles Bill. 
It was designed to accomplish a great deal — to extinguish for 
ever the Cardinal Archbishop, and all the other newly-instituted 
bishops. It proved utterly futile — telum imbelle sine ictu. The 
people could not be made to put down the Catholic institution; 
and religious liberty was so thoroughly recognized that even an 
act of parliament was powerless against it. 

The new Sees constituted by the Letters Apostolical of 29th 
September, 1850, were thirteen in number — Westminster, the 
Metropolitan See; Southwark, Hexham, Beverly, Liverpool, 
Salford, Shrewsbury, Newport, Clifton, Plymouth, Nottingham, 
Birmingham and Northampton. 

At the time of the restoration of the English hierarchy, Dr. 
Wiseman was created a Cardinal, not so much in honor of the 
important act to which it was his charge to give effect, as because 
the Holy Father having resolved on a creation of Cardinals so 
eminent a man could not be overlooked. At the accession of Pius 
IX. there were sixty-one living Cardinals. Of these only nine were 
not Italians. When, on his return to Rome, after his sojourn in 
the kingdom of Naples, he determined to add fourteen Cardinals 
to the Sacred College, only four of the prelates selected were 
natives of Italy. The rest were, at the time, the most distinguished 
men of the Catholic world. Of this number Archbishop Geissel 
of Cologne was one, and the King of Prussia, more liberal than 
certain magnates of England, thanked the Holy Father, in an 
autograph letter, for the honor thus done to the Catholic church 
of his country. Since that time the Prussian monarch appears to 
have changed his sentiments as well as his ministry. 

Notwithstanding the noisy demonstrations in opposition to the 
Cardinal Archbishop and his brother bishops, they were allowed 
to pursue in peace their labors of Christian zeal. The English 
grumbled, as is their wont. But discovering in time that they 
were neither attacked nor hurt, the rights of liberty of conscience 

Numbers and 

names of the new 

Dr. Wiseman 

and thirteen other 
eminent persons 
raised by Pius IX. 
to the dignity of 


Success of the 
English Hierarchy. 


Pius IX. And His Time 

Increase of 

Catholics during 
the decade — 1840- 


were respected, and no persecution followed what it was at first 
the fashion to call the "Papal aggression." 

The Emancipation Bill of 1 829, by which liberty of conscience, 
which was so proudly called the birthright of every Englishman, 
was extended to Catholics, tended powerfully, no doubt, to 
promote the development of the Catholic church. It grew 
also by emigration from Catholic Ireland, and there were some 
conversions occasionally from the Protestant ranks. It was not, 
however, till the decade immediately preceding the restoration 
of the hierarchy, that there was a very marked and decided 
movement of the educated and learned men of England towards 
the Catholic church. It is not recorded anywhere that Catholic 
missionaries or envoys of the Pope had penetrated into those 
sanctuaries of Protestant learning — the celebrated universities of 
Oxford and Cambridge. There, at least, there was no "Papal 
aggression," and tract upon tract was issued from the press 
of those seats of learning, in which it was argued that the 
doctrines taught by the Fathers of the first five centuries were 
the real Christian teaching which all men were bound to accept. 
It appeared to have escaped the learned men of Cambridge 
and Oxford that these were the very doctrines so perseveringly 
adhered to by the long-ignored and down-trodden Catholics of 

This fact, however, flashed upon their minds at last, and 
they who were lights in the Anglican establishment, which had 
been so long surrounded by a halo of worldly glory, and to be 
connected with which was a sure title to respectability, hesitated 
not to place themselves in communion with those whose position 
as a church had been for so many generations like to that of 
the early Christians who lurked in the catacombs of Rome. The 
clergy of the Catholic church in England, although they did 
not and could not have inaugurated the Cambridge and Oxford 
movement, recognized its importance, and freely seconded what 
it was beyond their power to initiate. Foremost amongst those 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


who were ever ready to afford comfort and encouragement to 
the able and inquiring men who sought the one true fold, was 
the learned ecclesiastic of world-wide renown who, a little later, 
bore so conspicuous a part in the re-establishment of the sacred 
hierarchy in England. This highly-gifted divine was a willing 
worker in the great Master's field. His labors were beyond 
even his great powers; and so his career, though brilliant, was 
comparatively short. The cause which he so well sustained is one 
which cannot suffer an irreparable loss; and great would be the 
joy of the pious and devoted Cardinal, so early snatched away, if 
it were given him to behold the rapid developments of the church 
which, in his day, he so ably and successfully upheld. 

If the increase of Catholics in England was rapid during 
the decade which preceded, it was much more so immediately 
alter the restoration of the hierarchy. This event appears to 
have given a new impetus to the growth of the church and her 
salutary institutions. Religious communities multiplied under the 
fostering care of the Cardinal Archbishop, and the encouragement 
which the Holy Father never ceased to afford. From 80, at the 
accession of Pius IX., they rose to 367; and schools and colleges 
increased from 500 to 1,300. The number of priests in Great 
Britain was more than trebled. It grew from 820 to 1,968, whilst 
churches and chapels rose in proportion — from 626 to 1,268. 
The number of dignitaries and other ministers of the Church 
of England, by law established, who, within the same period, 
embraced the Catholic faith, is estimated at over one thousand. 
There were, at the same time, numerous conversions among the 
laity. All this, together with the natural growth of population and 
immigration from Ireland, accounts for the increase of Catholics 
throughout the British isles in the days of Pius IX., as well as 
for the great additions to the number of their clergy, churches, 
religious and educational institutions. Monsignore Capel ascribes 
these extraordinary developments in great measure to the action 
of that section of the Church of England which is known as the 

Wonderful growth 
of the Catholic 
Church in England 
during the 

Pontificate of Pius 


120 Pius IX. And His Time 

High Church or Ritualist division of the Establishment. This is 
true, no doubt, as regards any augmentation of the church through 
conversions from Protestantism, and the impetus given by the 
movement towards Catholic union. "It is scarcely possible," 
says the Rev. Monsignore Capel, "to find a family in England 
that will not own that one of its members, or, at least, some 
acquaintance, has relations with the Catholic church, or observes 
some of the practices of that church, whether it be adoration of the 
Blessed Sacrament, auricular confession, devotion to the Blessed 
Virgin, or veneration of the saints. This movement is of such 
powerful proportions, and possesses such vitality of action, that 
no power on earth, no persecution on the part of Protestantism, 
the government or the press, is able to suppress it. Catholics 
would never have been able, themselves alone, to realize what 
is now accomplished by a section of the established Anglican 
church. The members of this party, by their discourses in the 
pulpit, have familiarized the public mind with expressions which 
Catholics never could have spread among the English people to 
the same extent, such as altar and sacrifice, priest and priesthood, 
high mass, sacrament, penance, confession, &c. The movement 
has produced this result. Many persons have become seriously 
religious, who had been in the habit of considering that the service 
of God was only a fitting employment for Sunday. In fine, the 
spirit of God which breathed on the waters at the commencement 
is now passing over the British nation and impelling it towards 
Catholic truth." 

Not a few of those who were once distinguished ministers of 
[122] the Anglican church are now officiating, with great acceptance, 

as Catholic priests. Of the 264 priests of the diocese of 
Westminster, there are 40 who were members of the official 
or law church. There passed not a week, M. Capel assures us, 
that he did not receive four or five Ritualists into the communion 
of the Catholic church. This was no fruit of his labor and ability, 
he modestly as well as truly declares. They were persons with 

Pius IX. And His Time. 121 

whom he had no relations whatsoever, until they came to him, 
their minds made up, and expressed that serious determination 
which is so characteristic of them. 

The publications of the celebrated statesman, Mr. Gladstone, 
although they have not won for him reputation as a theologian, 
have, nevertheless, promoted the cause of Catholic theology. 
The opinions of so eminent a man were naturally subjects of 
general discussion; and thus, whilst he opposed Pius IX. and 
his decisions, he caused many, who would never probably 
have thought seriously of anything a Pope could say, to give 
their attention to matters spiritual of the highest import. As 
regards his own theology, it is partly sound, partly the reverse. 
Whilst entirely misapprehending the doctrine of infallibility, and 
denying what he conceives it to be, he vigorously maintains 
the indefectibility of the Catholic church, and acknowledges the 
claim of her pastors to "descent in an unbroken line from Christ 
and His apostles." Such is one of the powerful agents in the 
great movement of the age. The most influential of all, however, 
was Pope Pius IX. himself. English people and Americans often 
sought his presence. And who shall tell how many, after having 
conversed with him or his representatives, have been disabused 
of their erroneous notions, or have even embraced the Catholic 

One chief cause of the remarkable development of the Catholic 
church in the British isles, is the complete religious liberty which 
Catholics enjoy. This important fact was thoroughly recognized 
on occasion of the celebration of the anniversary of O'Connell 
in August, 1875, when a solemn Te Deum was ordered in all 
the churches by the Cardinal Archbishop, in thanksgiving for the 
liberty of conscience which was so gloriously won for the United [123] 
Kingdom as well as Ireland and all the colonies. Pius IX. and 
the whole Catholic world joined on the same occasion in acts of 
thanksgiving with the spiritual heirs of Sts. Patrick, Augustine, 
Columba and St. Thomas of Canterbury. It is a noteworthy fact 


Pius IX. And His Time 

State of the 
Catholic Church in 
Holland anterior 
to the restoration 
of its Hierarchy in 


that the number of archiepiscopal and episcopal sees, together 
with vicariates-apostolic, &c, created by Pius IX. throughout the 
British Empire, is not less than one hundred and twenty-five. 

For three hundred years the Catholics of Holland were sorely 
tried by persecution. Until the time of the Concordat of 1827, they 
were governed by archpriests, whose superior or prefect resided 
at the Hague. When Holland was separated from Belgium, 
the king of the former country wisely resolved to act as a 
constitutional monarch. He was considerate as regarded his 
Catholic subjects. His successor, William II., to whom in 
1840 he resigned the crown, treated them with still greater 
benevolence. He sought an understanding with the Holy See, and 
gave effect to the Concordat of 1827. Vicars-apostolic, invested 
with the episcopal character, were now the chief pastors of the 
church of Holland. The king also sanctioned the establishment 
of several religious communities, among the rest the Society of 
Jesuits and the Liguorians. These arrangements were joyfully 
accepted by the Catholics of Holland, and paved the way for 
greater developments. These worthy people were, for a long time, 
believed to be few in number, and scarcely more than nominally 
Catholics. Relieved, at length, from the pressure of persecution, 
they astonished the world, not only by their numbers, but also, 
and even more, by their zeal in the cause of religion. According 
to the census of 1840, they were nearly one-half of the entire 
population of Holland. Total population, 2,860,450; Protestants, 
1,700,275; Catholics, 1,100,616. The remainder was made up of 
Jews and other dissenters. Thus were the Catholics of Holland 
as eleven to seventeen. Since that time they have not ceased to 
increase. Nor have they lost the high character which induced 
Pius IX., in 1853, to restore, the king concurring, their long- 
lost hierarchy. An archbishopric, Utrecht, and four episcopal 
sees were established — Harlem, Herzogenbosch, or Bois le Due, 
Breda and Roermonde. This wise and necessary measure was 
followed by an outburst of wrath on the side of the anti-Catholic 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


party. But in Holland, as in England, it soon subsided, and 
left only the impression that Protestants and other non-Catholic 
people claim an exclusive right to religious liberty. Pius IX. 
never ceased to entertain a high opinion of the good Catholics of 
Holland. "Ah!" said he to visitors from that country, "could we 
ever forget that these single-minded, loyal, patient Hollanders 
formed the majority of our soldiers, who were not native Italians, 
at Castelfidardo and Mentana." 

Whilst in the old world, wherever really free political 
institutions existed, the spirit of persecution quailed before the 
recognized principle of religious liberty, in certain portions of 
the new it appeared to gain strength, and to increase in the 
violence of its opposition to the liberty of the church. This was 
particularly the case in New Granada, where politicians, without 
statesmanship or experience, imagined that they had made their 
people free, when they succeeded in separating them from Spain 
and establishing a republic, in which the first principles of liberty 
were ignored. It is not recorded that the clergy of New Granada 
sought to do violence to any man's conscience, or ever thought of 
forcing any one to accept the Catholic creed. To say the least, they 
were too wise to attempt, thus to fill the church with hypocrites 
and secret enemies. Of such there were already too many in 
those societies which shun the light, and in the new world as 
actively as in the old intrigue and manoeuvre in order to overthrow 
every regular and legitimately established government. Even the 
republic of New Granada, which had been fashioned so much 
according to their will, was far from perfect in their estimation, 
so long as the church was not completely subject to the state. 
So early as 1847, Pius IX. addressed a fatherly remonstrance 
to the President of the New Republic. It was of no avail. The 
evil continued. Anti-Catholic legislation was coolly proceeded 
with. In 1850 the seminary of Bogota was confiscated. The 
following year bishops were forbidden the visitation of convents. 
Laws were enacted requiring that lay parishioners should elect 

Persecution in New 
Granada. Pius IX. 



Pius IX. And His Time 


Persecution ceases 
at last in the 

their parish priests, and that canons should be appointed by 
the provincial councils. The clergy were robbed of their proper 
incomes, and the congress or parliament of the republic arrogated 
the right to determine what salaries they should enjoy as well as 
what duties they should fulfil. This surely was nothing less than 
to reduce the church to be nothing more than a department of the 
civil government. The church could not so exist. Its principle 
and organization were from a higher source. The Socialists and 
secret plotters fully understood that they were so, and that in this 
lay the secret of the church's power to promote virtue and check 
the course of evil. It consisted, it appears, with their ideas of 
justice and liberty, that the church should, if possible, be deprived 
of this great and salutary moral power. So, whilst neither its 
members, generally, nor its clergy desired radical and subversive 
changes in the essential constitution of the church, the republican 
leaders determined that it should be completely revolutionized. 
The bishops and priests protested, with one voice, against such 
fundamental innovations. The republicans, no less resolute, 
and, bent on their wicked purpose, imprisoned and banished 
the clergy. One dignitary alone showed weakness. He was no 
other than the Vicar-Caputular of Antioquia. Pius IX. charitably 
rebuked him, and exhorted him to suffer courageously, like 
his brethren. The persecution, meanwhile, was very sweeping. 
The Archbishop of Bogota, Senor Mosquera, and almost all the 
suffragan bishops, were driven from the country, so that there 
was scarcely a bishop left in the republic. It was now speedily 
seen that the godless radicals had overdone their ungracious 
work. The country was roused. The tide of popular indignation 
set in against the short-sighted politicians who persecuted the 
church, and they, dreading an insurrection, withdrew, with the 
best grace they could command, from the false position which 
they had so unwisely assumed. 

Whilst the spirit of persecution brooded gloomily over many 
countries of the new world, its influence began to decline in those 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


lands where for centuries the idea of liberty of conscience was 
unknown, where even the slightest toleration existed not. Those 
northern lights, those champions in their day of Protestantism and 
"religious liberty" Gustavus Wasa and Gustavus Adolphus, were 
not mistaken when they bequeathed to their country laws which 
were intended to be as unchangeable as those of the Medes and 
Persians, and which forbade all Scandinavians, whether Swedes, 
Danes or Norwegians, under pain of death, to embrace the 
Catholic faith. Those princes were wise in their generation. They 
understood the power of Truth; they knew that half measures 
were of no avail against it; and that in order to stifle it, even 
for a time, all the terrors of worldly tyranny must be brought 
into play. Their laws, more terrible than the code of Draco, 
remained in force and without mitigation until a great revolution 
had swept over Europe, and sent a military adventurer to fill the 
regal seat of the formidable Wasas. In the time of Bernadotte 
(the Doct Baron), the infamous penal laws were relaxed. To 
become a Catholic now only led to imprisonment or exile. Six 
ladies of Sweden, in defiance of this milder law, came to profess 
the Catholic faith. They were tried, condemned and sentenced to 
be banished from the country. The execution of this barbarous 
sentence roused all Europe, and caused the abrogation of the 
Swedish penal laws against religion. Thus was a new field laid 
open to missionary zeal, and Pius IX., availing himself of so 
favorable a change of circumstances, appointed a Catholic pastor 
missionary apostolic at Stockholm. This devoted priest labors 
assiduously and in the midst of difficulties, but not without 
fruit. He contends, with all the success that can be as yet 
expected, against prejudices hostile to the religion which brought 
civilization to the Scandinavian nations, and which have been 
accumulating for three centuries and a half. 

Denmark followed in the wake of Sweden. Within the first Denmark— 600 
two years after the abrogation of the cruel Danish penal code, conversions - 
there were six hundred conversions to the Catholic faith. 

Pius IX. sends a 
Catholic pastor to 



Pius IX. And His Time 

Pius IX. establishes 
a Metropolitan See 
at Athens. 

Germany — Wars 
against the Church. 


An archbishop 

and other priests 
cruelly persecuted. 
Sustained by Pius 
IX. and finally by 
the people. 

The Catholic church in the recently-erected kingdom of Greece 
was governed by vicars-apostolic. It grieved King Otho, who, as 
is well known, was of the Catholic royal family of Bavaria, to 
see his country treated as if it were a heathen land. It was not, 
however, till the time of his successor, who is a son of the King 
of Denmark, that Pius the Ninth was able to establish a hierarchy 
in Greece. There is now an archbishop of Athens as well as an 
archbishop of Corfu. 

At a time when crime abounded, the governments of certain 
petty States of Germany, instead of directing their energies 
towards its repression, and so fulfilling one of the chief duties 
incumbent on the State, employed all the authority with which 
they were invested to disorganize the church and destroy its 
salutary influence. As is usual, when States, forgetting the great 
objects for which they are entrusted with the sword of justice, 
follow such a course, they attacked the ministers of the church, 
banishing, imprisoning, thwarting and molesting them in every 
possible way. In the Grand Duchy of Baden the civil authorities 
arrogated the right to appoint parish priests and other members 
of the sacred ministry. They went so far as to endeavor to 
poison religious instruction at its source, and declared that the 
students in Catholic seminaries must undergo, before ordination, 
an examination by civil officials. This tyrannical law was 
courageously opposed by the venerable archbishop, Vicary, of 
Friburg. Although eighty years of age, he was dragged before the 
courts, and placed like a criminal under charge of the police. The 
faithful clergy were banished, imprisoned and fined. The Holy 
Father, with his usual zeal, remonstrated. It was to no purpose. 
At length the Catholics of Germany were roused. They could 
no longer be indifferent. The day was come when the church, 
in her utmost need, could not dispense with their assistance. 
All must now be for her or against her. The great majority 
flocked around her standard. Meanwhile, the public offices in 
the churches were suspended. The bells and organs were heard 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


no more. Silence and death-like gloom overspread the land. 
Baden gave way. Wurtemberg, Hesse Cassel and Nassau, which 
had done their best to follow in the wake of Baden, paused in 
their mad career. Thus, throughout those lesser States peace 
reigned once more, and continued to reign in Germany until a 
greater State, Prussia, unwisely disturbed the religious harmony 
which so happily prevailed. The chiefs of States, alarmed by 
the revolutionary spirit which spread, like contagion, throughout 
Germany as well as the rest of Europe, adopted a more rational 
policy. They encouraged the clergy to hold missions everywhere. 
They invited the Liguorians and Jesuits, as well as the secular 
clergy, to assemble the people in the towns and throughout the 
country, knowing full well that they would preach peace and 
concord no less than respect for property and life. These pastoral 
labors were attended with extraordinary success. Faith, piety, and 
every virtue flourished among the Catholic people. All honest 
Protestants were filled with admiration. Among the latter there 
was also a remarkable movement. Some striking conversions 
took place, especially in the higher and better educated classes 
of society. The Countess de Hahn, so renowned in the literary 
world for her wit, abilities, and fine writings, joined the Catholic 
church, and published her reasons for so doing. Not satisfied with 
this step, she came to the town of Angers, in France, and placed 
herself as a novice under the direction of the devout sisters of the 
Good Shepherd. It is on record also, that a Protestant journalist of 
Mecklenburgh, in view of the commotions which prevailed, and 
the anti-social doctrines which pervaded society, went so far as 
to declare that there was no other remedy for Protestant Germany 
than a return to the Catholic church. His remarks conclude with 
the following words, extraordinary words, indeed, when it is 
considered whence they proceed: "Forward, then, to Rome!" 

In countries nearer the Holy City, and professing to be 
Catholic, the venerable Pontiff found not such a source of 
consolation. Sardinia had banished the archbishop of Turin. It 


Pius IX. laments the 
state of religion in 
Sardinia. — Condemns 
the Act secularizing 

128 Pius IX. And His Time 

not only refused to recall him, but added to its list of exiles the 
archbishop of Cagliari. Many more bishops were, at the same 
time, threatened with banishment. A professor in the Royal 
University of Turin, encouraged by the government, attacked the 
doctrine of the church, and was so bold as to deny, in public, 
that matrimony is a sacrament. Pius IX. issued a condemnation 
of his anti-Catholic writings. The sentence did not move him. 
Nor did it stay the hand of the Sardinian government which was 
raised against the church and her institutions. It continued the 
preparation of its anti-marriage law. In addition, accusations 
were laid against the clergy. The king himself, evading the real 
question at issue, accused them of disloyalty, and declared that 
they were warring against the monarchy. The Holy Father, in the 
following letter to the king, distinctly set forth the real state of 
the case: 

"If by words provoking insubordination are meant the writ- 
ings of the clergy against the proposed marriage law, we 
declare, without endorsing the language which some may 
have adopted, that in opposing it the clergy simply did their 
duty. We write to your Majesty that the law is not Catholic. 
Now, if the law is not Catholic, the clergy are bound to warn 
[130] the faithful, even though by doing so they incur the greatest 

dangers. It is in the name of Jesus Christ, whose Vicar, though 
unworthy, we are, that we speak, and we tell your Majesty, 
in His sacred name, not to sanction this law, which will be 
the source of a thousand disorders. We also beg your Majesty 
to put a check to the press which is constantly vomiting forth 
blasphemy and immorality. Your Majesty complains of the 
clergy. But these last years the clergy have been persistently 
outraged, mocked, calumniated, reviled and derided by almost 
all the papers published in Piedmont." 

That country, unfortunately, appears to have been entirely at 
the mercy of the party of unbelief. It was ever ready to inflict 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


new wrongs on the church, and occasion anxiety and sorrow to 
the Holy Father. 

There are few readers of ecclesiastical history who are not 
deeply interested in that portion of India which was the first field 
of the extraordinary apostolic labors of Saint Francis Xavier. 
The blessing of the Saint appears to have rested on the land of 
Goa; for after many years of trial and difficulty and schism, 
this Portuguese settlement, once so great and important, still 
remains a province of the church. The Portuguese government, 
by unjustly claiming right of patronage, originated the schism 
which, unfortunately, was of such long continuance. It was 
reserved for Pius IX. to restore harmony to the Colonial church 
of Goa. Happily, in 1851, the schism was brought to an end. 

Pius IX. was still an exile at Gaeta when, observing the 
increasing piety of the Catholic world towards the Blessed 
Virgin, and moved by the representations of many bishops 
that were in harmony with his own conviction, he issued the 
Encyclical of the 2nd February, 1849, addressed to the Patriarchs, 
Primates, Archbishops and Bishops of the whole world, in 
order to obtain from them the universal tradition concerning the 
Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Mother of God. In this 
Encyclical the Holy Father recognizes the fact that there was a 
universal movement among Christians in favor of the belief in 
question, so that the complete acknowledgment of it appeared 
to be sufficiently prepared both by the liturgy and the formal 
requisitions of numerous bishops, no less than by the studies of 
the most learned theologians. He further states that this general 
disposition was in full accordance with his own thought, and that 
it would afford him great consolation, at a time when so many 
evils assailed the church, to add a flower to the crown of the most 
holy Virgin, and so acquire a title to her special protection. He 
declares, moreover, that with this end in view he had appointed 
a commission of Cardinals in order to study the question. He 
concludes by inviting all his venerable brethren of the Episcopate 

Pius IX. puts an end 
to the celebrated 
Goa Schism in 

Encyclical on 

the Immaculate 
Conception — 1849. 


130 Pius IX. And His Time 

to make known to him their sentiments and join their prayers 
with his in order to obtain light from on high. 

As the cross itself was folly in the estimation of the early 
unbelieving world, so were such theological occupations, at a 
time when the Sovereign Pontiff had not an inch of ground 
whereon he could freely tread, a subject for jesting and sarcasm 
to the worldly-wise of the nineteenth century. It was some time 
before they came to understand that a Pope is a theologian more 
than a king, that, as such, he is sure of the future, and that 
the solemn proceeding in regard to the Immaculate Conception 
was a triumphant reply to all the errors of modern thought. 
This dogma brings to naught all the rationalist systems which 
refuse to acknowledge in human nature either fall or supernatural 
redemption. The means, besides, which were adopted in order 
to prepare its promulgation, tended to bring the various churches 
throughout the world into closer relation with their common 
Head and Centre. They who had hitherto laughed, now raged 
when they saw this great result, and attacked with the utmost 
fury what they called the "new dogma." Both sectarianism and 
the schools of sophistry descanted loudly, although certainly not 
learnedly, on the ignorance and ineptitude of the institution which 
[132] so powerfully opposed them. All this was only idle clamoring. 

It never hindered the Holy Pontiff from prosecuting calmly the 
important work which heaven had inspired him to begin. 

The Encyclical was warmly responded to by the Episcopate. 
Six hundred and three replies were duly forwarded to the Holy 
Father. Five hundred and forty-six urgently insisted on a doctrinal 
definition. A few only, and among these was Mgr. Sibour, 
Archbishop of Paris, doubted whether the time were opportune. 
But there was no doubt as to the sentiments of the Catholic 
world. Only in our time, when the facilities of communication 
are so much greater than in any former age, could the plan 
of consulting so many bishops in all parts of the world have 
been successfully adopted. Pius IX. was now at Rome, and 

Pius IX. And His Time. 1 3 1 

invited around him all bishops who could travel to the Holy 
City. No fewer than one hundred and ninety-two from every 
country except Russia sought the presence of the Chief Pastor. 
The absence of the Russian bishops was all the more surprising, 
as the Russo-Greek church vies with Rome in the honor which 
it pays to the Blessed Mary. The bishops, however, were not to 
blame. Their good purposes were frustrated by the jealous policy 
of the Emperor Nicholas. The bishops assembled at Rome, in 
obedience to the wishes of Pius IX., did not constitute a formal 
council. They were, nevertheless, a very complete representation 
of the universal church. There were of their number some 
highly distinguished cardinals, archbishops and bishops, such as 
Cardinals Wiseman and Patrizzi, Archbishops Fransoni of Turin, 
Reisach of Munich, Sibour of Paris, Bedini of Thebes, Hughes of 
New York, Kenrick of Baltimore, and Dixon of Armagh, together 
with Bishops Mazenod of Marseilles, Bouvier of Mans, Malon 
of Bruges, Dupanloup of Orleans, and Ketteler of Mayence. 
Who will say that the learning of the Catholic world was not 
at hand to aid with sound counsel the commission of cardinals 
and theologians whom the Holy Father had appointed to prepare 
the Bull of definition? There had never been so many eminent 
bishops together at Rome, since the (Ecumenial Council of [133] 
1215. On so great an occasion Pius IX. had requested the prayers 
of the faithful, and throughout the Catholic world supplication 
was made to heaven, in order to obtain, through the light of the 
Holy Ghost, such a decision as could tend only to promote the 
glory of God, the honor due to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the 
salvation of mankind. The bishops at one of their sessions gave 
a very practical utterance as regards the infallible authority of 
the Pope. The question having arisen whether the bishops were 
to assist him as judges in coming to a decision, and pronounce 
simultaneously with him, or leave the final judgment solely to 
the word of the Sovereign Pontiff, the debate, as if by inspiration 
from on high, came suddenly to a close. It was the Angelus 


Pius IX. And His Time 

Pius IX. solemnly 


the Dogma of 

the Immaculate 



hour. The prelates had scarcely resumed their places after the 
short prayer, and exchanged a few words, when they made a 
unanimous declaration in favor of the supremacy of St. Peter's 
chair: Petre, doce nos; confirma fratres tuos — "Peter, teach us; 
confirm thy brethren." The teaching which the Reverend Fathers 
sought from the lips of the Supreme Pastor was the definition of 
the Immaculate Conception. 

The 8th December, 1854, was the great triumphal day which, 
according to the fine language of Bishop Dupanloup, "crowned 
the expectation of past ages, blessed the present time, claimed 
the gratitude of the centuries to come, and left an imperishable 
memory — the day on which was pronounced the first definition 
of an article of Faith which no dissentient voice preceded, and 
which no heresy followed." All Rome rejoiced. An immense 
multitude of people of all tongues crowded the approaches to the 
vast Basilica of St. Peter, which was by far too small to contain 
the imposing host. Then were seen advancing the bishops, in 
solemn procession, placed according to seniority, and followed 
by the cardinals. The Sovereign Pontiff, surrounded by a brilliant 
cortege, closed the procession. Meanwhile was heard the grave 
chant of the Litanies of the Saints, inviting the heavenly court 
to join with the Church militant in doing honor to her who was 
Queen alike of angels and of men. Pius IX. ascended his throne; 
and as soon as he had received the obedience of the cardinals and 
bishops, the Pontifical Mass began. When the Gospel had been 
chanted in Greek and in Latin, Cardinal Macchi, Dean of the 
Sacred College, accompanied by the deans of the archbishops 
and bishops, by an archbishop of the Greek rite, also, and an 
Armenian archbishop, advanced to the foot of the throne, and 
begged of the Holy Father, in the name of the whole church, "to 
raise his apostolic voice and pronounce the dogmatic decree of 
the Immaculate Conception." The Pope, bowing his head, gladly 
welcomed the petition; but wished once more to invoke the aid 
of the Holy Ghost. Then rising from his throne, he intoned in a 

Pius IX. And His Time. 133 

clear and firm voice, which rang through the grand Basilica, the 
veni creator spiritus. All who were present, cardinals, bishops, 
priests and people, mingled their voices with that of the Father 
of the Faithful, and the sonorous tones of the heavenly hymn 
resounded through the spacious edifice. Silence came. All eyes 
were rivetted on the venerable Pontiff. His countenance appeared 
to be transfigured by the solemnity of the act in which he was 
engaged. And now, in that firm and grave, but mild and majestic, 
tone of voice, the charm of which was known to so many millions, 
he began to read the Bull, which announced the sublime dogma 
of the Immaculate Conception. It established, in the first place, 
the theological reasons for the belief in the privilege of Mary. It 
then appealed to the ancient and universal traditions of both the 
Eastern and the Western churches, the testimony of the religious 
orders, and of the schools of theology, that of the Holy Fathers 
and the Councils, as well as the witness borne by Pontifical acts, 
both ancient and more recent. The countenance of the Holy 
Father showed that he was deeply moved, as he unfolded these 
magnificent documents. He was obliged, several times, so great 
was his emotion, to stop. "Consequently," he continued, "after 
having offered without ceasing, in humility and with fasting, 
our own prayers and the public prayers of the church to God [135] 
the Father through His Son, that He would deign to guide and 
confirm our mind by the power of the Holy Ghost, after we 
had implored the aid of the whole host of heaven, to the glory 
of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, for the honor of the Virgin 
Mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the 
increase of the Christian religion; by the authority of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and by 
our own" — at these words the Holy Father's voice appeared to 
fail him, and he paused to wipe away his tears. The audience 
was, at the same time, deeply moved; but, dumb from respect 
and admiration, they waited in deepest silence. The venerable 
Pontiff resumed in a strong voice, which shortly rose to a tone of 

134 Pius IX. And His Time 

enthusiasm: "We declare, pronounce and define, that the doctrine 
which affirms that the Blessed Virgin Mary was preserved and 
exempt from all stain of original sin from the first moment of 
her conception, in consideration of the merits of Jesus Christ, 
the Saviour of mankind, is a doctrine revealed by God, and 
which, for this cause, the faithful must firmly and constantly 
believe. Wherefore, if any one should be so presumptuous, 
which, God forbid! as to admit a belief contrary to our definition, 
let him know that he has suffered shipwreck of his faith, and 
that he is separated from the unity of the church." As the Pontiff 
concluded, a glad responsive "Amen" resounded through the 
crowded temple. 

The Cardinal-dean once more reverently approached, and 
petitioned that order be given for the publication of the apostolic 
letters containing the definition; the promoter of the Faith, 
accompanied by the Apostolic Protonotaries, also came to ask 
that a formal record of the great act should be drawn up. At 
the same time the cannon of the castle of Saint Angelo, and 
all the bells of Rome, proclaimed to the world that the ever- 
blessed Mary was gloriously declared immaculate. Throughout 
the evening the holy city echoed and re-echoed to the sounds of 
joyous music, was ablaze with fire-works, and decorated with 
[136] innumerable inscriptions and emblematic transparencies. 

The example of Rome was immediately followed by thousands 
of towns and villages over the whole surface of the globe. It would 
require libraries rather than volumes to reproduce the expressions 
of pious concurrence which everywhere took place. The replies 
of the bishops to the Pope before the definition, were printed 
in nine volumes; the Bull itself, translated into all the tongues 
and dialects of the universe, by the labors of a learned French 
sulpician, the Abbe Sire, appeared in ten volumes; the pastoral 
instructions, publishing and explaining the Bull, together with 
the articles of religious journals, would certainly make several 
hundred volumes, especially if to these were added the many 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


books by the most learned men, and the singularly beautiful 
hymns and poems which flowed from the pens of Catholic 
poets, no less than the eloquent discourses of the most gifted 
orators. Descriptions of monuments and celebrations would also 
immensely swell the list. Sanctuaries, altars, statues, monuments 
of every kind, as well as pious associations rose everywhere 
in honor of the Immaculate Conception. The ever-increasing 
devotion to Mary had become greater than ever. It was to the 
unbelieving a phenomenon in the moral world of the nineteenth 
century, which they could neither comprehend nor account for. 
They could only see that it was as a source of new life to the 

The education law of France, enacted in 1850, had given 
rise to differences of opinion among earnest Catholics. These 
only increased after the celebrated coup d'etat of 2nd December. 
M. de Montalembert, who had become hostile to Prince Louis 
Napoleon, on occasion of the iniquitous confiscation of the 
Orleans property, M. de Falloux, and their friends of the 
Correspondant, and the Ami de la Religion, insisted that they 
ought not to accept the protection of Caesar in place of the 
general guarantees which were so profitable to the liberty of the 
church. They were right, as was but too well shown in the sequel. 
M. Louis Veuillot and the writers of the Univers opposed their 
views, and so they accused these gentlemen of servility. But this 
was too much, as the event also showed. 

The congregation of the "Index" had condemned several 
French works, some absolutely, and others only until they should 
be corrected. Among these last were books generally used, 
notwithstanding their faults, in the public schools, such as the 
Manual of Canon Law, by M. Lequeux, vicar-general of the 
Archbishop of Paris, and the theology, so long in use, of 
Bailly. The authors of these works at once submitted. One of 
the sentences, however, that which affected the Dictionary of M. 
Bouillet, greatly offended the Archbishop of Paris — Mgr. Sibour, 



the study of the 

ancient classics 

happily terminated 

by Pius IX. 


136 Pius IX. And His Time 

who had signified his approval of this publication. He blamed 
the Univers and the lay religious press in general. He formulated 
his complaints in a charge of 15th January, 1851, and by a still 
more vigorous one in 1853, which was written at the instigation 
of a Canon of Orleans, M. L'Abbe Gaduel, who had accused 
Donoso Cortes, in the Ami de la Religion, of several heresies, 
and who complained of having been refuted in the Univers with 
a warmth that was far from respectful. Mgr. Sibour forbade the 
priests of his diocese to read the Univers, and threatened with 
excommunication the editors of this journal, if they presumed to 
discuss the sentence which he had pronounced against them. A 
similar sentence came to be uttered by Mgr. Dupanloup, Bishop 
of Orleans, against the same writers, condemning the opinions 
which they held concerning the study of the classics. M. Veuillot, 
following in the wake of M. LAbbe Gaume, maintained that one 
of the principal causes of the weakening of faith since the time of 
the renaissance, was the obligation imposed on youth of studying, 
almost exclusively, Pagan authors. Mgr. Dupanloup contended 
rather against exaggerations of this opinion than against the idea 
itself. But having developed his views in an episcopal letter to 
the professors of his lesser seminaries, he would not allow them 
to be opposed; and so, like Mgr. Sibour, interdicted the Univers 
to his clergy. M. Louis Veuillot appealed to the supreme bishop. 

The French episcopate was greatly divided on the subject of 
[138] these untoward controversies. The Bishops of Chartres, Moulins 

and others, had publicly defended the Univers in opposition 
to the Archbishop of Paris. Cardinal Gousset, Archbishop of 
Rheims, patronized the opinions of M. Veuillot in regard to 
the use of heathen classics. An anonymous paper on the right 
of custom, addressed to the episcopate, now added to all these 
subjects of controversy the recriminations of Gallicanism, which 
was almost extinct. The author denying that the customs of the 
church of France were abrogated by the Concordat, maintained 
that the disciplinary sentences of the Popes could not be applied 

Pius IX. And His Time. 137 

in any diocese until they were first promulgated therein. He 
disputed the authority of the decrees of the "Index," blamed the 
liturgical movement, reproached the religious journalists with 
seeking, above all, to please the Court of Rome, and concluded 
by advising the bishops to come to an understanding among 
themselves, in order to obtain from the Pope a modification of 
his decisions. Pius IX. could be silent no longer. Accordingly, he 
addressed to all the French bishops an Encyclical, which is known 
in history as the Encyclical inter multiplices . He commenced 
by acknowledging the subjects of joy and consolation afforded 
him by the progress of religion in France, and especially by the 
zeal and devotedness of the bishops of that country. He gave 
special praise to these prelates, because they availed themselves 
of the liberty which had been restored to them in order to hold 
Provincial Councils, and expressed his satisfaction, "that in a 
great many dioceses, where no particular circumstance opposed 
an impediment, the Roman Liturgy was re-established." He 
could not, however, dissemble the sorrow which was caused 
him by existing dissensions, and for which he blamed, although 
indirectly, political opposition and party spirit. "If ever," said 
the Holy Father, "it behooved you to maintain among yourselves 
agreement of mind and will, it is, above all, now, when, through 
the disposition of our very dear son in Christ, Napoleon, Emperor 
of the French, the Catholic church amongst you enjoys complete 
peace, liberty and protection." In speaking of the good education 
of youth, which he earnestly recommended as being of the [139] 
highest importance, he gave a practical solution of the vexed 
question of the classics. "It is necessary," he insisted, "that 
young ecclesiastics should, without being exposed to any danger 
of error, learn true elegance of language and style, together with 
real eloquence, whether in the very pious and learned works 
of the Holy Fathers, or in the most celebrated Pagan authors, 
when thoroughly expurgated." In this same Encyclical also, the 
venerable Pontiff, speaking of the Catholic press, declared it to 


Pius IX. And His Time 

Accident at St. 
Agnes. Narrow 
escape of Pius IX. 
and many eminent 


be indispensible. "Encourage, we most anxiously ask of you, 
with the utmost benevolence, those men who, filled with a truly 
Catholic spirit, and thoroughly acquainted with literature and 
science, devote their time in writing books and journals for the 
propagation and defence of Truth." 

Catholic writers, in return, it is added, ought to acknowledge 
the authority of bishops to guide, admonish and rebuke them. 
The anonymous paper is then severely censured, and the Pope 
concludes by a new and pressing appeal in favor of concord. 
As soon as this Encyclical of 21st March, 1853, was published, 
M. Louis Veuillot and his fellow-laborers addressed to Mgr. 
Sibour a letter expressive of respect and deference, in which they 
promised to avoid everything that could render them unworthy of 
the encouragement of their archbishop. This prelate immediately 
withdrew the sentence which he had issued against them, and 
thus was peace restored, once more, by the authority of the 
Supreme Pastor. 

On the 12th of April, 1855, the fifth anniversary of his return 
from Gaeta, Pius IX. drove by the via Nomentana, the beautiful 
Church of St. Agnes and the Porta Pia, to a spot five miles from 
the city, where, on grounds belonging to the congregation of 
Propaganda, catacombs had been recently discovered. In these 
subterranean recesses were found, among other venerated tombs, 
that which contained the relics of St. Alexander I., Pope and 
Martyr, and those of the companions who shared his sufferings. 
The professors and students of Propaganda had assembled at the 
place in honor of the Pope's visit. They descended with him to 
the Crypt, where the Holy Father, as soon as he entered, knelt in 
prayer beside the remains of his sainted predecessor, who, more 
than seventeen centuries ago, had sealed his faith with his blood. 
After examining the long corridors of the catacomb, the Holy 
Father took his seat on the ancient throne of the chapel, which, 
no doubt, in the dark days of heathen persecution, several of his 
predecessors had filled. So placed, he delivered to the pupils 

Pius IX. And His Time. 139 

of Propaganda a feeling allocution on the high career which lay 
before them as preachers of the true Faith. He then addressed 
a few words to the eminent persons who surrounded him, and 
proceeded back to the Church of St. Agnes. Having adored 
the Blessed Sacrament, and venerated the relics of the Virgin 
Martyr, he entered the neighboring convent of canons regular 
of St. John Lateran, where a suitable repast awaited the august 
visitor. This was followed by a conversazione in the parlor, 
in which the distinguished parties who had accompanied the 
Pope took part. Almost every Catholic country was represented 
there; and, among the rest, were Archbishop Cullen of Dublin 
(long since a Cardinal), and Bishop de Goesbriand of Burlington. 
The Pope was on the point of departing, when the Superiors 
of Propaganda prayed him to grant an audience to the students. 
Pius IX. graciously complied, and resumed his seat in the chair 
of state which was appropriately canopied. A hundred young 
ecclesiastics now rapidly entered the room. All of a sudden 
the floor gave way with a loud crash, and the whole assembly 
disappeared in a confused mass of furniture, stones, plaster, and 
a blinding cloud of dust. The joists had given way, and the whole 
flooring fell to a depth of nearly twenty feet. The voice of the 
Pope was first heard, intimating that he was safe and uninjured. 
As a few inmates of the convent had remained outside, assistance 
speedily came, and the Holy Father was promptly extricated 
from the ruins. Solicitous only for the safety of the company, he 
urgently ordered that they should all be withdrawn as rapidly as [141] 
possible from their perilous position; and he waited in the garden 
till every one of them was rescued. Not so much as one was 
dangerously injured. 

"It is a miracle," said the Pope, who was greatly rejoiced. "Let 
us go and thank God." Followed by the whole company, as well 
as those who had come to rescue them, he entered the church, 
where, deeply affected, he intoned the Te Deum, and concluded 
with the solemn benediction of the most Holy Sacrament. 


Pius IX. And His Time 

Piedmont seeks 
a French alliance 
against the Pope. 


The news of the accident spread rapidly through the city. 
The people flocked to the churches. At St. Agnes the wonderful 
deliverance was commemorated by a special service. The interior 
of this church has been since restored at great cost by Pius IX. 
A fresco in the open space in front represents the scene at the 
convent. The 12th of April is now a holiday at Rome, and it 
is observed every year with piety and gratitude. Twenty years 
later — 12th of April, 1875 — the Romans held a magnificent 
celebration of the anniversary of the accident at St. Agnes. 
It was also the day of the Pope's return from Gaeta, in 1850. 
In reply to the address, expressive of duty and devotedness, 
which was presented to him on that occasion, the Holy Father 
alluded, in the language of an apostle, to the mysterious ways of 
Providence. "Our fall at St. Agnes," said he, "appeared at first 
to be a catastrophe. It struck us all with fear. Its only result, 
however, was to cause the works by which the ancient Basilica 
was renewed and embellished to be more vigorously prosecuted. 
The same will be the case in regard to the moral ruins which 
the powers of darkness are constantly heaping up against us and 
around us. The church will emerge from the confused mass more 
vigorous and more beautiful than ever." 

Piedmont, surely, had little to do at the Congress of Paris, the 
object of which was to make the best arrangements possible for 
the Christians, and especially the Catholics, of the East. Count 
Cavour, its representative, nevertheless, found a pretext for being 
present, and introduced as he was by the Minister of France, 
Count Walewski, and sustained by the British Plenipotentiary, 
Lord Clarendon, he became more important than the power of 
his country, or the share it had in the Crimean War, would alone 
have warranted. He availed himself of his position to attack and 
undermine two of the minor sovereigns — the Pope and the King 
of Naples. 

"The States of the Holy See," he insisted, "never knew 
prosperity, except under the rule of Napoleon I., when they 

Pius IX. And His Time. 141 

formed part of the French empire and the kingdom of Italy. Later, 
the Emperor Napoleon III., with that precision and firmness 
of view by which he is characterized, understood and clearly 
pointed out in his letter to Colonel Ney the solution of the 
problem: Secularization and the Code Napoleon; but it is evident 
that the Court of Rome will struggle to the last moment, and 
by every possible means, against the realization of this twofold 
combination. It is easily understood that it may appear to accept 
civil and even political reforms, taking care always to render them 
illusory. But it knows too well that secularization and the code 
Napoleon, once introduced into the edifice of the temporal power, 
would undermine it and cause it to fall, simply by removing its 
principal supports — clerical privileges and canon law. Clerical 
organization opposes insurmountable impediments to all kinds 
of innovations." 

Cavour urged, in conclusion, that "the legations" must be 
separated politically, and a viceroy set over those provinces. 
Walewski and Clarendon supported these views, but cautiously 
using the enigmatic language of diplomacy. The Plenipotentiaries 
of the other Powers were silent, or refused to give an opinion, 
on the ground that they had no instructions. M. de Mauteuffel 
alone, the Prussian representative, sternly observed that such 
recriminations as M. de Cavour had brought forward were very 
like an appeal to the revolutionary movements in Italy. Prussia 
did not, at that time, foresee what advantage it was destined to 
reap from the alliance of the Italian revolution with Napoleon 
III. France, however, had reason to dread lest the chief of her 
choice should return to the dark practices of his youth. Her 
too well-founded apprehensions were confirmed and aggravated [143] 
when it came to the public ear, through the newspapers of the 
time, that the Emperor had held a too intimate interview with M. 
de Cavour at the waters of Plombieres. All this, notwithstanding 
an alliance of France with Piedmont, for the destruction of the 
Pope's temporal sovereignty, appeared as yet to be so completely 

142 Pius IX. And His Time 

out of the question, that the French ambassador at Rome refuted 
publicly the calumnies which M. de Cavour had so selfishly 
promulgated. Count de Rayneval had been a long time at Rome, 
first as Secretary of the Embassy of King Louis Philippe, and 
afterwards as Plenipotentiary of the Republic, before he was 
appointed to represent the Emperor Napoleon. None could be 
better qualified to give a luminous report of the state of matters 
at Rome. The revolutionary press, however, never noticed it, and 
the government refused to publish it in the Moniteur, preferring 
the wretched pamphlet of M. About on the Roman Question. The 
French, who wished to be well informed, sought the words of M. 
de Rayneval's report in the columns of the London Daily News: 


"Pius IX. shows himself full of ardor for reforms. He himself 
puts his hand to the work. From the very day Pius IX. mounted 
the throne he has made continuous efforts to sweep away every 
legitimate cause of complaint against the public administration 
of affairs. 

"Already have civil and criminal cases, as well as a code 
relating to commerce, all founded on our own, enriched by 
lessons derived from experience, been promulgated. I have 
studied these carefully — they are above criticism. The Code 
des Hypotheques has been examined by French juris consults, 
and has been cited by them as a model document. Abroad 
(says this distinguished and able writer), those essential changes 
that are introduced into the order of things, those incessant 
efforts of the Pontifical government to ameliorate the lot of the 
[144] populations, have passed unnoticed. People have had ears only 

for the declamation of the discontented, and for the permanent 
calumnies of the bad portion of the Piedmontese and Italian 
press. This is the source from which public opinion has derived 
its inspiration. And in spite of well established facts, it is believed 
in most places, but particularly in England, that the Pontifical 

Pius IX. And His Time. 143 

government has done nothing for its subjects, and has restricted 
itself to the perpetuation of the errors of another age. I have only 
yet indicated the ameliorations introduced into the organization 
of the administration. Above all, let us remember that never 
has a more exalted spirit of clemency been seen to preside 
over a restoration. No vengeance has been exercised on those 
who caused the overthrow of the Pontifical government — no 
measures of rigor have been adopted against them — the Pope 
has contented himself with depriving them of the power of doing 
harm by banishing them from the land." 



"In spite of considerable burdens which were occasioned by 
the revolution, and left as a legacy to the present government — in 
spite of extraordinary expenses caused by the reorganization 
of the army — in spite of numerous contributions towards the 
encouragement of public works, the state budget, which, at the 
commencement, exhibited a tolerably large deficit, has been 
gradually tending towards equilibrium. I have had the honor 
recently of pointing out to your Excellency, that the deficit of 
1857 has been reduced to an insignificant sum, consisting for the 
most part of unexpected expenses, and of money reserved for the 
extinction of the debt. The taxes remain still much below the mean 
rate of the different European States. A Roman pays the state 
22 francs annually, 68,000,000 being levied on a population of 
3,000,000. A Frenchman pays the French government 45 francs, 
1,600,000,000 being levied on a population of 35,000,000. These 
figures show, demonstratively, that the Pontifical States, with 
regard to so important a point, must be reckoned amongst the 
most favored nations. The expenses are regulated on principles [145] 
of the greatest economy. One fact is sufficient. The civil list, 
the expenses of the cardinals, of the diplomatic corps abroad, the 
maintenance of Pontifical palaces and the museum, cost the state 
no more than 600,000 crowns (3,200,000). This small sum is 

144 Pius IX. And His Time 

the only share of the public revenue taken by the Papacy for the 
support of the Pontifical dignity, and for keeping up the principal 
establishments of the superior ecclesiastical administration. We 
might ask those persons, so zealous in hunting down abuses, 
whether the appropriation of 4,000 crowns to the wants of the 
princes of the church seems to them to bear the impress of a 
proper economy exercised with respect to the public revenue? 



"Agriculture has been equally the object of encouragement, 
and also gardening and the raising of stock. Lastly, a commission, 
composed of the principal landed proprietors, is now studying 
the hitherto insoluble question of draining the Campagna of 
Rome, and filling it with inhabitants. There is, in truth, misery 
here as elsewhere, but it is infinitely less heavy than in less 
favored climates. Mere necessaries are obtained cheaply. Private 
charities are numerous and effective. Here also the action of 
the government is perceptible. Important ameliorations have 
been introduced into the administration of hospitals and prisons. 
Some of these prisons should be visited, that the visitor may 
admire — the term is not too strong — the persevering charity of 
the Holy Father. I will not extend this enumeration. What I 
have said ought to be sufficient to prove that all the measures 
adopted by the Pontifical administration bear marks of wisdom, 
reason and progress; that they have already produced happy 
results; in short, that there is not a single detail of interest to the 
welLbeing, either moral or material, of the population, which has 
[146] escaped the attention of the government, or which has not been 

treated in a favorable manner. In truth, when certain persons 
say to the Pontifical government, 'form an administration which 
may have for its aim the good of the people,' the government 
might reply, 'look at our acts, and condemn us if you dare.' The 

Pius IX. And His Time. 145 

government might ask, 'not only which of its acts is a subject 
of legitimate blame, but in which of its duties it has failed?' 
Are we, then, to be told that the Pontifical government is a 
model — that it has no weakness or imperfections? Certainly 
not; but its weakness and imperfections are of the same kind 
as are met with in all governments, and even in all men, with 
very few exceptions. I am perpetually interrogating those who 
come to me to denounce what they call the abuses of the Papal 
government. The expression, it must be remembered, is now 
consecrated, and is above criticism or objection. It is held as 
Gospel. Now, in what do the abuses consist? I have never 
yet been able to discover. At least, the facts which go by that 
name are such as are elsewhere traceable to the imperfection 
of human nature, and we need not load the government with 
the direct responsibility of the irregularities committed by some 
of its subordinate agents. The imperfections of the judiciary 
system are often cited. I have examined it closely, and have 
found it impossible to discover any serious cause of complaint. 
Those who lose their causes complain more loudly and more 
continuously than is the custom in other places, but without any 
more reason. Most of the important civil cases are decided in 
the tribunal of the Rota. Now, in spite of the habitual license 
of Italian criticism, no one has dared to express a doubt of the 
profound knowledge and the exalted integrity of the tribunal of 
the Rota. If the lawyers are incredibly fertile in raising objections 
and exceptions — if they lengthen out lawsuits — to what is this 
fault to be attributed if not to the peculiarity of the national 
genius? Lastly, civil law is well administered. I do not know 
a single sentence the justice of which would not be recognized 
by the best tribunal in Europe. Criminal justice is administered 
in a manner equally unassailable. I have watched some trials 
throughout their whole details; I was obliged to confess that [147] 
necessary precautions for the verification of facts — all possible 
guarantees for the free defence of the accused, including the 

146 Pius IX. And His Time 

publication of the proceedings — were taken." 


"Much is said of the brigands who, we are told, lay the country 
desolate. It has fallen to our lot to pass through the country, in 
all directions, without seeing even the shadow of a robber. It 
cannot be denied that, from time to time, we hear of a diligence 
stopped, of a traveller plundered. Even one accident of this kind 
is too much, but we must remember that the administration has 
employed all the means in its power to repress these disorders. 
Thanks to energetic measures, the brigands have been arrested at 
all points and punished. When in France a diligence is stopped; 
when in going from London to Windsor a lady of the Queen's 
palace is robbed of her luggage and jewels, such incidents passed 
unnoticed; but when, on an isolated road in the Roman States, the 
least fact of this nature takes place, the passenger, for a pretext, 
prints the news in large characters, and cries for vengeance on 
the government. On the side of Rome the attacks which have 
taken place at distant intervals have never assumed an appearance 
calculated to excite anxiety. 

"In the Romagna, organized bands have been formed, which, 
taking advantage of the Tuscan frontier, easily escaped pursuit, 
and were for a time to be dreaded. The government declared 
unceasing war against them, and after several engagements, in 
which a certain number of gens d'armes were either killed or 
wounded, these bands have been in a great measure dispersed. 
The Italians always depend for the completion of their projects 
on foreign support. If this support were to fail, then they 
would adopt a proper course much more readily than would be 
necessary. Meanwhile, in England and Sardinia, the organs of the 
press should cease to excite the passions, and Catholic Powers 
[148] should continue to give the Holy See evident marks of sympathy. 

But how can we hope that enemies, animated with such a spirit 
as influences the opponents of the Holy See, should put a stop 

Pius IX. And His Time. 147 

to their attacks when they have been made in so remarkable a 


Those who are generally mentioned as ecclesiastics, are not 
necessarily priests or in holy orders. 

"Count Rayneval took occasion to show, with proofs in 
his hands, that the half of these supposed priests were not in 
orders.... The Roman prelates are not all bound to enter into 
holy orders. For the most part they dispense with them. Can 
we then call by the name of priests those who have nothing 
of the priest but the uniform? Is Count Spada a more zealous 
or a more skilful administrator now than when, in the costume 
of a priest, he officiated as Minister of War? Do Monsignor 
Matteuci (Minister of Police), Monsignor Mertel (Minister of 
the Interior), Monsignor Berardi (substitute of the Secretary of 
State), and so many others, who have liberty to marry to-morrow, 
constitute a religious caste, sacrificing its own interests to the 
interests of the country, and would they become, all of a sudden, 
irreproachable if they were dressed differently? If we examine 
the share given the prelates, both priests and non-priests, in the 
Roman administration, we shall arrive at some results which 
it is important to notice. Out of Rome, that is, throughout 
the whole extent of the Pontifical States, with the exception of 
the capital — in the Legations, the Marshes, Umbria, and all the 
Provinces, to the number of eighteen, how many ecclesiastics 
do you think are employed? Their number does not exceed 
fifteen — one for each Province except three, where there is not 
one at all. They are delegates, or, as we should say, prefects. The 
councils, the tribunals, and offices of all sorts, are filled with 
laymen. So that for one ecclesiastic in office, we have in the 
Roman Provinces one hundred and ninety-five laymen." [149] 

The following table, which appeared in the London Weekly 


Pius IX. And His Time 

Register (The Weekly Register, June, 1859.), shows at a glance 
what a small proportion the clerical bore to the lay element in the 
government of the Papal States: 










Secretariate of 






Justice and Police 





Public Instruction 










Commerce, P. 
















encourages Science 
and the Fine 
Arts — "Vindex 

M. De Rayneval admits that the people are not enterprising. If 
they do not show much industrial activity, this is to be ascribed 
not to the government, but to the climate, the facility with which 
everything necessary for comfort is obtained, and the long- 
established habits of the natives of the South of Europe. "The 
condition of the population, nevertheless," adds the ambassador, 
"is comparatively good. They readily take part in public 
amusements, when pleasure may be read on every countenance. 
Are these the misgoverned people 'whose miseries excite the 
commiseration of all Europe? 7 There is misery, no doubt, as 
there is everywhere. But it is less than in lands that are not so 
highly favored. The necessaries of life are so cheap as to be easily 
procured. Private charity never fails; and there are numerous and 
efficient public benevolent establishments." 

It may be said, by way of supplement to M. De Rayneval's 
report, that Pius IX. did all in his power to encourage both science 
and the fine arts. His many foundations for their promotion are 
his witness. Among the rest are the College of Sinigaglia, 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


and the Seminario Pio at Rome, together with the educational 
establishments, endowed from his private resources, at Perugia, 
Civita Vecchia, Ancona and Pesaro. To him also are due the [150] 
high renown to which rose the studies of the Roman university, 
the restoration of the Appian way, and the many archaeological 
works which have won for their august promoter the glorious 
surname of Vindex Antiquitatis . His day would be memorable if 
it had been illustrated only by the names of Vico, Secchi, Rossi 
and Visconti. 

It is impossible to overrate the importance of Count de 
Rayneval's report, or the influence which it exercised over 
the public mind of Europe, when, at length, through the agency 
of the British and Belgian press, it obtained publicity. A 
refutation of Cavour's interested calumnies, so able, distinct 
and straightforward, powerfully impressed the minds of British 
statesmen, and caused them to see the grievous error into which 
they had been betrayed at the Congress of Paris, by Count 
Cavour and the Emperor Louis Napoleon, in the interest of their 
fellow-conspirators against the sovereignty of the Pope. 

Lord Clarendon was the first who had knowledge of the now 
celebrated state paper. He was also the first who, for the sake 
of truth and justice, made it public, committing it to the English 
press, whence it found its way to continental Europe. This 
eminent British statesman promptly communicated with Count 
Cavour, and took him to task severely for his double dealing at the 
congress, and for having induced him, as British Plenipotentiary, 
by false statements, to sanction his views. 

The calumnies and misrepresentations of the Cavour- "Motu proprio." 
Napoleon party had, indeed, been met by anticipation in the 
decree, known as motu proprio, which Pius IX. issued from 
Portici, shortly before his return to Rome. This decree indicated 
the reforms which, as we learn from Count de Rayneval's report, 
were afterwards carried out. It even granted a constitution 
as complete as was consistent with the existence of the Papal 

Lord Clarendon 
rebukes Count 



Pius IX. And His Time 


Donoso Cortez, 
in the Spanish 
supports the Papal 

Sovereignty. More could not be looked for. The much-vaunted 
constitution of England itself does not abrogate or nullify the 
monarchy. But neither this nor any other measure of reform, 
however well adapted to circumstances and the character of 
the people, could ever have satisfied the Italianissimi, whose 
hatred of every existing institution was boundless as it was 
incomprehensible. The Holy Father solemnly declared that he 
decreed the measures in question for the good of his people, 
and under the eye of heaven. "They are such," he adds, at the 
conclusion of the document, motu proprio, "as to be compatible 
with our dignity, and, if faithfully carried out, we are convinced 
that they will produce results which must command the approval 
of all wise minds. The good sense of all among you who aspire 
to what is best, with a fervor proportionate to the ills which you 
have endured, shall be our judge in this matter. Above all, let 
us place our trust in God, who, even in fulfilling the decrees of 
His justice, is never unmindful of His mercy." It could not be 
expected, and it was not expected, that the Pope should resign 
his sovereignty. The words of Donoso Cortez, spoken in the 
Spanish parliament, in defence of the temporal sovereignty, were 
received at the time with universal acceptance. 

"Civilized Europe," said this distinguished author and 
statesman, "will not consent to see enthroned in that mad 
city of Rome a new and strange dynasty begotten of crime. 
And let no one here say, that in this matter there are two 
separate questions — one a temporal question, the other entirely 
spiritual — that the difficulty lies between the temporal sovereign 
and his subjects; that the Pontiff has been respected and still 
subsists." Two words on this point — just two words — shall 
suffice to make us understand the whole matter. 

"It is perfectly true that the spiritual power of the Papacy is 
its principal power; the temporal is only an accessory, but that 
accessory is one that is indispensible. The Catholic world has a 
right to insist upon it, that the infallible organ of its belief shall 

Pius IX. And His Time. 151 

be free and independent. The Catholic world cannot know with 
certainty, as it needs must know, whether that organ is really 
free and independent, unless it be sovereign. For he alone [152] 
who is sovereign, depends on no other power. Hence it is that 
the question of sovereignty, which everywhere else is a political 
question, is in Rome a religious question." 

"Constituent assemblies may exist rightfully elsewhere; at 
Rome they cannot; at Rome there can be no constituent power 
outside of and apart from the constituted power. Neither Rome 
herself nor the Pontifical States belong to Rome or belong to the 
Pope — they belong to the Catholic world. The Catholic world 
has recognized, in the Pope, the lawful possessor thereof, in 
order to his being free and independent; and the Pope may not 
strip himself of this sovereignty, this independence." 

The greatest statesmen of the age, such as Guizot, Thiers, 
and Montalembert, in France; Normanby, Lansdowne, Disraeli, 
and even Palmerston, in England; the statesmen of Prussia, and 
even those of the Russian Empire; the Emperor of Austria and 
his advisers; Spain, Portugal and Naples, all shared the opinion 
of the illustrious Spanish statesman, Donoso Cortes. All alike 
favored the restoration of the Holy Father, and the securing of 
his government against the accidents of revolution in the future 
by placing it under the protection of the Great Powers. "The 
affairs Rome," wrote the Russian Chancellor in a circular, "cause 
to the government of his Majesty the Emperor great concern; 
and it were a serious error to think that we take a less lively 
interest than the other Catholic governments in the situation to 
which his Holiness Pope Pius IX. has been brought by the events 
of the time. There can be no room for doubting that the Holy 
Father shall receive from the Emperor a loyal support towards 
the restoration of his temporal and spiritual power, and that 
the Russian government shall co-operate cheerfully in all the 
measures necessary to this result; for it cherishes against the 
court of Rome no sentiment of religious animosity or rivalry." 


Pius IX. And His Time 

Lord Lansdowne, 
together with all 
the statesmen 

and States of 
recognize the 

principles laid 

down in Pius the 
Ninth's "motu 




Sardinia alone held aloof. Its minister did not, like the other 
European ambassadors, seek the presence of the Pope when he 
was pressed by the revolutionists. Nor did he repair, as they 
did, to Gaeta, but remained in Rome, and, to the great surprise 
and scandal of all the European Courts, transacted business 
with the governments which reigned there in the absence of the 
legitimate sovereign. The absorption of all the states of Italy, 
not excepting that of the Pope, by Piedmont, was the ruling idea 
of Piedmontese statesmen. They were guided by a selfish view 
to what they considered their own interest, not by principles 
that were universally recognized. Such were continental liberals. 
The English liberals, the party of reform, thought differently. 
One of their chiefs, Lord Lansdowne, whose high character as 
a statesman gives weight to his words, declared, in the British 
House of Peers, when the French expedition to Rome was 
discussed there, that "the condition of the Pope's sovereignty is 
especially remarkable in this, that so far as his temporal power is 
concerned, he is only a sovereign of the fourth or fifth order. In his 
spiritual power he enjoys a sovereignty without its equal on earth. 
Every country which has Roman Catholic subjects has an interest 
in the condition of the Roman States, and should see to it that 
the Pope be able to exercise his authority independently of any 
temporal influence that could affect his spiritual power." Thus 
did all Christendom — all the states which owned the Christian 
name — true to immemorial tradition, consider that they lay under 
the obligation to watch over the freedom and independence of the 
great central power whence proceeded their early civilization. 

The French government, in restoring Pius IX., only obeyed 
the will so often and so clearly expressed of the European 
nations. Now that he was once more firmly seated on the 
Pontifical throne, it was time, thought the Cavour-Napoleon- 
Mazzini party, that he should introduce into his states what they 
called true reform — the Code Napoleon and the secularization 
of his government. This, as has been seen, he could not do. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 153 

It was tantamount to the abdication of his sovereignty. That he 
did reform, however, wisely and efficiently, Count de Rayneval 
has abundantly shown. His measures of reform were large and 
liberal, and, in the judgment of eminent statesmen, left little 
room for improvement. It is necessary to bestow a few words in 
making this fact still more apparent; for it was long the fashion 
to say and insist that the policy of Pius IX., after his restoration, 
was reactionary, and that the once-reforming Pope had, with 
inconceivable inconsistency, ceased to be a reformer. 

In the motu proprio, published by the Pope on occasion of 
reorganizing his states in 1849, '50, there was inaugurated as full 
a measure of liberty as was compatible with the circumstances of 
the country and the character of the people. Two political bodies, 
a council of state and a council of finance were instituted. These 
were designed as temporary institutions, whose object it should 
be to remedy the fearful evils caused by the revolution — in 
plain terms, to bring order out of anarchy and chaos. M. 
de Rayneval has shown that in this they were successful, and 
that they also put an end to the disorder and difficulty caused 
by the issue of forty millions of worthless paper which the 
Republic had bequeathed to them. The Moniteur, as well as the 
ambassador, admitted that by the end of the first seven years the 
finances had nearly reached an equilibrium, the deficit at that 
time being only half a million of dollars. This temporary state of 
things was destined, once its objects were accomplished, to give 
place to a more ample constitution, which certainly would have 
been granted in due time but for the hostile intrigues of those 
who blamed the most free and complete constitutional system. 
It will not be without interest to consider what was thought 
among distinguished foreigners in regard to the Pope's early 
measures — measures which, it is well known, were intended as 
a preparation for more advanced constitutional government. The 
French Republic appointed a commission, consisting of fifteen 
of its best statesmen, to examine and report upon the political 

154 Pius IX. And His Time 

[155] wisdom and practical value of the institutions which Pius IX. 

had granted to his states. M. Thiers, to whom none will give 
credit for being over friendly to the Holy See, drew up, signed 
and presented this report: 

"Your commission," the report states, "has maturely examined 
this act, motuproprio, in order to see whether the counsels which 
France believed herself authorized to offer had borne such fruits 
as to prevent her regretting having interfered in Roman affairs. 
Well, by a large majority, twelve in fifteen, your commission 
declares that it sees in the motu proprio a first boon of such 
real value, that nothing but unjust pretensions could overlook 
its importance. We shall discuss this act in its every detail. 
But limiting ourselves, at present, to consider the principle on 
which is based the Pontifical concession, we say that it grants 
all desirable provincial and municipal liberties. As to political 
liberties, consisting in the power of deciding on the public 
business of a country in one of the two assemblies, and in union 
with the executive — as in England, for instance — it is very true 
that the motu proprio does not grant this sort of political liberty, 
or only grants it in the rudimentary form of a council without 
deliberative voice. This is a question of immense gravity, which 
the Holy Father alone can solve, and which he and the Christian 
world are interested in not leaving to chance. That on this point he 
should have chosen to be prudent; that after his recent experience 
he should have preferred not to reopen a career of agitation 
among a people who have shown themselves so unprepared for 
parliamentary liberty, is what we do not know that we have either 
the right or the cause to deem blameworthy." 

A well-known British statesman expressed similar views. "We 
all know," said Lord Palmerston, "that the Pope, on his restoration 
to his states in 1849, published an ordinance called motuproprio, 
by which he declared his intention to bestow institutions, not 
indeed on the large proportions of a constitutional government, 
but based, nevertheless, on popular election, and which, if 

Pius IX. And His Time. 155 

they had only been carried out, must have given his subjects 
such satisfaction as to render unnecessary the intervention of a [156] 
foreign army." These words were uttered in 1856, when Lord 
Palmerston ought to have known, if indeed he did not actually 
know, that the proposed reforms of the Pope had been faithfully 
and successfully carried out. The report of Count de Rayneval 
was before the world, and so important a state paper could 
not have been unknown to a statesman who interested himself 
so much in European affairs generally, and those of Rome in 
particular. The Rayneval report, besides, which showed how 
completely Pius IX. had fulfilled his promises — how assiduously 
and effectually he had labored in the cause of reform — had 
been specially communicated, as has been seen, to an eminent 
member of the British Cabinet, Lord Clarendon. It is not so 
clear that the Pope's subjects were not satisfied. None knew 
better than Lord Palmerston, that there was always a foreign 
influence at Rome which never ceased to cause discontent, and 
was ready, on occasion, to raise disturbance. This alien and 
sinister influence was only too powerfully seconded, both by 
some members of the British ministry and the intriguing head of 
the French government. 

Baron Sauzet, who was President of the French Chamber of 
Deputies in the reign of Louis Philippe, and who was, by no 
means, over partial to Rome, wrote in 1860 on the system of 
legislation which obtained in the States of the Church, and gave 
utterance to the opinion that it was a solid basis on which Pius IX. 
was endeavoring to raise such a superstructure of improvement 
as was adapted to the wants of modern society. Criminal 
law was regulated according to the wise codes of Gregory 
XVI., which were a real progress. Civil legislation had for its 
groundwork the old Roman law, which the Popes, at various 
times, had wisely adapted to their age and the circumstances of 
their people. There are certain points of great delicacy, with 
regard to which, in Christian communities, religious authority 

156 Pius IX. And His Time 

only can legislate. These excepted, the Justinian code, with some 
necessary modifications, prevailed. Few changes have been made 
since Gregory the Sixteenth's time, and they are codified with 
[157] such perfect scientific lucidity as to be available to practitioners. 

This is one of the special labors of the Council of State, which 
is aided by a commission consisting of the most eminent and 
learned jurists of Rome. The distinguished statesman (Baron 
Sauzet), moreover, repels the idea of thrusting on the Romans 
the Code Napoleon, as was intended by the Emperor Louis 

Galeotti, who was Minister of Justice in the Mazzini ministry, 
and who cannot be suspected of much favor to the Holy See, 
declares that, "in the Pontifical government there are many parts 
deserving of praise; it contains many ancient institutions which 
are of unquestioned excellence, and there are others of more 
modern date which the other provinces of Italy might well enjoy. 
One may confidently say that there is no other government in 
Italy in which the principle of discussion and deliberation has 
been so long established and so generally practised." 

Galeotti further says, speaking of the Judicature: "The tribunal 
of the Rota is the best and the most respected of the ancient 
institutions of Rome. Some slight changes would make it the 
best in all Europe. The mode of procedure followed in it is 
excellent, and might serve as a model in every country where 
people would not have the administration of justice reduced to 
the art of simply terminating lawsuits." 

Another author, whose remarks are deserving of attention, 
Monsignor Fevre, says that law expenses are very moderate, the 
proceedings very rapid, and the rules of the Judiciary among 
the very best of the kind. Besides, the poor are never taxed 
by the courts, while they are always supplied with counsel. In 
Rome itself the pious confraternity of St. Yeo (the patron saint 
of lawyers) takes on itself, gratuitously, the cases of all poor 
people, when they appear to have right on their side. The arch- 

Pius IX. And His Time. 157 

confraternity of San Girolamo Delia Carita, also undertakes the 
defence of prisoners and poor persons, especially widows. "It 
has the administration of a legacy left by Felice Amadori, a noble 
Florentine, who died in the year 1639. The principal objects of 
their solicitude are persons confined in prison. These they visit, [158] 
comfort, clothe, and frequently liberate, either by paying the fine 
imposed on them as the penalty of their offence, or by arranging 
matters with their creditors. With a wise charity they endeavor 
to simplify and shorten causes; and they employ a solicitor, who 
assists in settling disputes, and thus putting an end to litigation. 
This confraternity embraces the flower of the Roman prelacy, 
the patrician order and the priesthood." 

One is naturally inclined to ask how it came to pass that 
a people, possessing such wise institutions, such an admirable 
system of legislation, and a sovereign who constantly studied to 
enlarge and improve their inherited benefits, were never satisfied? 
It would be hard to say that the Romans, the real subjects of 
the Pope, were not satisfied. But there were not wanting those 
who succeeded in making it appear that they were not, and who 
also contrived to induce many of the Romans themselves to 
believe that they had cause to be discontented. It was the fashion 
in Piedmont to rail against everything clerical, and to such an 
extent did this mania proceed, that they began to persecute the 
clergy. Through the agency of the secret societies, whose chief 
was Mazzini, this anti-clerical prejudice spread through all Italy, 
and even extended to Rome, the government of which, as a 
matter of course, was bad, for no other reason than that, being 
conducted by the Chief of the clergy, it was reputed to be clerical. 
Thus did Count Cavour and the Piedmontese government use 
the Mazzinian faction for the furtherance of their own ambitious 
ends, whilst the Mazzinians believed that they were using them 
as they intended to use them, and their king and all kings, as long 
as there should be kings, for their subversive purposes, in the 
first instance, and for the establishment, finally, of their Utopian 


Pius IX. And His Time 


at Rome. — Two 
American Saints. 
Pius IX. erects 
four Metropolitan 
Sees in the United 

republic on the ruins of all thrones and regular governments 
whatsoever. As will be seen, most recent history shows the first 
act of the drama has been played, apparently to the profit of a 
king. Time will prove to whom, in the end, victory shall belong. 
One institution at least will remain, for no power, not even 
that of hell, can prevail against it. As in the early days, when 
society had fallen to a state of chaos, and orderly government 
had become impossible, it may, once more, raise the standard of 
order and reconstitute the broken and scattered elements. 

Rome and the Catholic world were yet rejoicing on occasion 
of the happy restoration of Pius IX. to his states, and pilgrims still 
flocked from every region of the universe to the holy city, when 
two remarkable events came to add new glory to the flourishing 
church of America. Hitherto America could reverence and 
invoke only one native saint. On 16th July, 1850, took place 
the beatification of the venerable Peter Claver, of the Society 
of Jesus, the apostle of New Granada; and in October, Mariana 
de Paredes, of Flores, "the lily of Quito," was beatified. The 
latter was first cousin and contemporary of Saint Rose of Lima. 
This circumstance vividly awakens the idea, that already saints, 
although there were few as yet who could claim the honors of 
canonization, were not uncommon in America. Whatever may 
have been the measure and excellence of her children's sanctity, 
the church was rapidly extending. So great was her growth that, 
in the year 1850, Pius IX. considered it opportune to erect four 
metropolitan sees in the United States — New York, Cincinnati, 
St. Louis and New Orleans. Baltimore, the primatial see, was 
already metropolitan. 

New See of The Holy Father showed no less solicitude for the welfare 
Laval.— Rennes Q f ^ Qijyj-Qij j n France, Spain, and other European countries. 


Metropolitan.— RestorMapoleon III., anxious to gain the good-will of Catholic France, 
of the chapter of p ra y e d the Holy See to erect a new diocese at Laval, to raise the 
see of Rennes to metropolitan dignity, to reorganize the grand 
chaplaincy, and restore the chapter of St. Denis. All this was done 

St. Denis. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


by a brief of 31st March, 1857, and there was now a thoroughly 
good understanding between the Pope and the Emperor, between 
the latter and the people over whom he ruled. It was even said 
that Napoleon III. desired, like his uncle, to be anointed Emperor 
by a Pope; that with a view to this end, he made many advances 
to Pius IX., and went so far even as to propose in confidence 
the abolition of the organic articles, and a modification of the 
Code Napoleon, in so far as that parties who marry before the 
church should be exempted from the civil ceremony. A still 
less doubtful pledge of the continuance of amicable relations 
between Rome and Paris was the baptism of the Prince Imperial. 
The Emperor had asked the Pope to do him the favor to act as 
sponsor for the child that Providence had deigned to give him, 
and Pius IX. readily consented. As he could not be present in 
person at the ceremony, he caused himself to be represented by 
his legate, a latere, Cardinal Patrizzi. This cardinal, at the same 
time, presented to the Empress the golden rose, which is blessed 
every year on the fourth Sunday of Lent, in order to be sent to the 
princes, cities and churches on which the Pope desires to confer 
special honor. The blessed rose was a small rose-tree in gold, 
covered with rose-flowers. The vessel which contained it was 
of massive gold. It stood on a pedestal of lapis lazzuli, which 
bore in Mosaic the arms of the Pope and the Emperor. On the 
vase itself were sculptured the birth of the Blessed Virgin, and 
the Presentation in the Temple. 

It would have been well if all this friendship had been as 
sincere as it was warmly expressed. It cannot, however, be 
forgotten that the government of the Emperor Napoleon had 
suppressed the Rayneval report, and Pius IX. must have thought, 
although prudence forbade him to say, that there was reason to 
doubt the fidelity of his apparently devoted ally. "Timeo Danaos 
et donaferentes." 

It may be said that, at this time, the Powers of the world vied 
with one another in seeking the favor of the Pope. Isabella II., 


Napoleon desires 
to be crowned 
by the Pope. 
Pius IX. sponsor 
for Napoleon's 

son. — Golden 
rose sent to the 


Pius IX. godfather 
to Alphonso XII. of 

1 60 Pius IX. And His Time 

Queen of Spain, like Napoleon of France, was anxious that Pius 
IX. should, through a representative, stand godfather to her son, 
who afterwards became Alphonso XII. Other princes sought the 
like consideration, and among the rest, Victor Emmanuel, whose 
daughter, the Princess Pia, thus became the godchild of Pius the 
Pope. This princess is now the Queen of Portugal. 
Concordat with Another bond of friendship with the world's Powers was 
Austna - secured, apparently, by the conclusion of a Concordat with 

the great Austrian Empire. The negotiations which led to this 
Concordat had lasted several years. It was abundantly liberal 
in the true acceptation of this term. Nevertheless, it awakened 
the hatred and contempt of the professed liberals, who enjoy 
this appellation, one would say, simply because they are not 
liberal, just as in Latin a grove is called by a word expressive 
of light, because it is not light (lucus a non lucendo). How 
can they be called truly liberal, who have no liberality for any 
but themselves, who know no other liberty than that which 
enables them to tyrannize over the church, and trample under 
foot her most sacred and beneficial institutions? The Concordat 
with Austria provides that the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman 
religion shall be preserved in its integrity throughout the whole 
extent of the Austrian monarchy, together with all the rights and 
prerogatives which it ought to enjoy in virtue of the order which 
God has established and the canon law. 

The Roman Pontiff having, by divine right, in the whole church 
the primacy of honor and jurisdiction, mutual communication, as 
regards all spiritual things, and the ecclesiastical relations of the 
bishops, the clergy and the people with the Holy See, shall not 
be subject to the necessity of obtaining the royal placet, but shall 
[162] be wholly free. 

In a consistorial allocution of 5th November, 1855, Pius 
IX. gave expression to the joy which it afforded him to have 
obtained, after so much tedious negotiation, such happy results. 
The following year, on the 17th of March, he addressed a brief 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


to the bishops of the Austrian Empire, exhorting them to avail 
themselves of the spiritual independence which they had once 
more won, in order to guard their dioceses against the ravages of 
rationalism and indifference. 

Meanwhile, new difficulties arose in Spain and Spanish 
America. The government of Isabella II., regretting the good to 
which it had so recently been a party, commenced a new war 
against the church. Notwithstanding the Concordat, it exposed 
for sale such ecclesiastical property as was not yet sold, forbade 
religious communities of women to receive novices, and forcibly 
removed several bishops from their dioceses. The excesses 
were such that Pius IX. was obliged to recall his representative 
from Madrid. There were similar persecutions in the South 
American Republics and in Mexico. The congress of Mexico 
forbade monastic vows, banished the Archbishop of Mexico, and 
imprisoned the Bishop of Michoacan. Germany, at the same 
time, was not without its troubles. A learned theologian of the 
diocese of Cologne, Dr. Anthony Gunther, had allowed himself 
to drift from the sure ways of tradition, imperceptibly gliding 
into rationalism, and confounding reason and faith. His ideas 
had partisans in several countries of Germany. The vigilant eye 
of Pius IX. discovered in them germs of heresy, which it was 
important to check before they attained development. Gunther, 
on being condemned, accepted humbly the judgment of the Holy 
See. But there was a long contest with some of his partisans who 
were less pious than himself. 

The record of Pius the Ninth's progress through his States, 
in 1857, is alone a sufficient reply to the calumnies of those 
enemies who never ceased to assert that ever since his return to 
Rome he had pursued a retrograde policy. Reform was always 
an object of his solicitude. It was with a view to improve 
the condition of his people that he undertook, when almost a 
septuagenarian, a four months' journey through the States of the 
Church. He travelled slowly, and sometimes on foot, in order 

Difficulties in 

Spain and Spanish 
countries. Errors of 


Pius IX. makes a 
progress through 
his States. — His 

1 62 Pius IX. And His Time 

the better to observe and ascertain the state of the provinces. All 
could approach him and address him freely. He visited churches, 
hospitals and workshops. He examined the works of the ports and 
the public ways. Many addresses and petitions were presented. 
Far, however, from asking the abolition of priestly rule, the 
petitioners prayed for a return to the former state of things, when 
cardinals and prelates only were set over the provinces. The 
progress of the Holy Father was a series of joyous ovations from 
the time that he left Rome — 4th May — till his return on the 5th 
September. His journey was at first in the direction of Ancona, 
Ravenna and Bologna. He returned by way of Florence and 
Modena. His progress would have been crowned with success 
if it had only served to show the loyalty and devotedness of his 
people. But it was attended with still greater results. The Holy 
Father bestowed much time at every place in seeking, personally 
and through his ministers, information which became the basis 
of reform and improvement. Thus, as is known by the authentic 
accounts which have been published, many localities derived 
very material benefit from the Papal visit. The port of Pesaro was 
to be almost entirely reconstructed, the Holy Father bestowing 
$80,000 from his own resources. The port of Sinigaglia was also 
considerably improved, and a new sanitary office built. The cities 
of Ancona and Civita Vecchia were to be enlarged. At Bologna 
the High street was widened and beautified; the fine facade of the 
cathedral was to be completed, the Pope contributing $5,000 for 
[164] fifteen years. At Perugia new prisons were to be constructed, and 

the condition of the prisoners was to be in every way improved; 
a liberal annual contribution was given towards preserving the 
splendid native collections of art. Ravenna, although long 
neglected and in decay, was not forgotten. Pius IX. wished to 
revive, as far as possible, the ancient commercial prosperity of 
this city, and promised $4,000 annually for ten years towards 
improving the port. At Ferrara many improvements were ordered, 
and $9,000 contributed for the completing of the Pamfilio canal. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 163 

The Holy Father also appointed a commission of engineers, in 
order to devise a plan by which the river Reno should be turned 
into the Po, and an extensive tract of fertile land thus saved 
from periodical inundations. Funds were provided for the relief 
of poor sailors. Liberal grants were allotted for artesian wells, 
where required, and for bridges and public roads. Especially 
were large allowances devoted for the improvement of the 
highways atPesaro, Macerata, Imola, Camerino, &c. Telegraphic 
communication was widely established. Prisons, hospitals and 
schools were special objects of the Holy Father's care. It was 
the duty of Monsignor de Merode, who accompanied the Pope, 
on arriving in any city or town, to visit the prison, enquire into 
everything connected with it, and report accordingly. Monsignor 
Talbot had commission to look to the state of charitable, industrial 
and educational institutions, in all of which he aided in promoting 
valuable reforms. 

It is impossible to consider, without emotion, the reception 
which greeted the Holy Father in his former diocese of Spoleto. 
At every step proof upon proof was given of reverence and 
affection, which time had not diminished. Etiquette and state 
ceremony were laid aside. The youthful and the aged alike would 
see their good shepherd, and he was anxious to salute his people, 
and converse with them all. Many a face, familiar to him of 
old, was recognized with pleasure, and even names were not 

As has been seen, the days of the Holy Father's journey were 
not all spent in pleasurable greetings or official receptions. He [165] 
never forgot or neglected the work of reform and improvement. 
Nor were such care and labor new to him. It had often been 
said that the Popes were hostile to all modern improvements. 
Why did they not favor railways? Why did they not drain the 
Pontine Marshes, and cause the Campagna to be cultivated? Let 
the labors of Pius IX. reply. A railway through the States of the 
Church was one of his favorite ideas, and he beheld it realized. 

1 64 Pius IX. And His Time 

It must have afforded him no ordinary satisfaction to see the 
railway which his princely care had provided now winding along 
the valley of the Tiber, now climbing the heights and stretching 
its arms across the Apennines, reaching down to the seaboard 
at Ancona, now passing beyond the limits of the Papal territory, 
and extending away to the Tuscan capital. 

The uneducated or half-educated traveller, who surveys the 
uncultivated and malarious plains around the city of the Popes, 
at once discovers, in this desolation which prevails, an argument 
against priestly rule. With a little more information, however, 
he would see the ruins and the vestiges of a mighty empire, 
the works of which, like its conquests, were the wonder of the 
world. How such works came to be so successfully executed 
is easily understood, when it is remembered that heathen Rome 
commanded the wealth, the intellect, and the strong arms of many 
subject nations. The Popes, on the other hand, though they often 
tried, as did Pius IX. among the rest, to cultivate the Campagna 
and drain the Pontine Marshes, had so little means at their 
disposal, that they could never accomplish anything important. 
Among other difficulties that the Roman Pontiffs had to contend 
with, was that of obtaining an outlet towards the sea, whilst 
ancient Rome commanded all the seas and lands of the known 
world. Surely it does not require a Solomon to understand that 
without access to the Mediterranean, it is physically impossible to 
drain and cultivate such low-lying lands as the Pontine Marshes. 

At Perugia the Holy Father received the kindly visit of the 
[166] Archduke Charles, who came, on the part of his father Leopold, 

to compliment the Sovereign Pontiff. Archduke Maximilian, of 
Austria, who, at the time, little thought of a Mexican Empire, 
came to salute the Pope at Pesaro. Neither he nor Pius IX. had 
been, as yet, betrayed and abandoned by Napoleon III. The Grand 
Duke of Tuscany and all his family, together with the Dukes of 
Parma and Modena, came to pay their homage at Bologna. The 
Holy Father accepted their pressing invitation to visit Tuscany 

Pius IX. And His Time. 165 

and Modena, the sovereigns showing publicly, in presence of 
their people, such reverence and devotedness as recalled the faith 
and loyalty of the Middle Ages. The Pope himself bears witness 
to the truly noble and chivalrous conduct of these provinces. "He 
introduced us himself into Florence," says Pius IX., in speaking of 
the Grand Duke Leopold, "walking by our side, and accompanied 
us to every Tuscan city which we visited. All the archbishops 
and bishops of his States, all the clergy, the corporate bodies, 
the magistrates and the nobles showed their delight by testifying 
their devotion to us in a thousand ways. Not only at Florence, 
but wherever we went in Tuscany, the people from town and 
country, far and near, came forth to greet us, acclaiming the 
Chief Pontiff of the church with such ardent affection, showing 
such an intense desire to see him, to do him reverence, to receive 
his benediction, that our fatherly heart was moved to its inmost 
depths." On the Holy Father's return to Rome there was high 
jubilee among all classes of the people a fact which the traducers 
of Pius IX. would do well to note, as it proves beyond a doubt 
how idle and ill-founded was all their clamor, to the effect that 
in the holy city his popularity had departed. 

A case in itself comparatively unimportant now became a The Mortara case. 
cause celebre, and agitated all Europe. One Mortara, a Jew of 
Bologna, had, in violation of the laws of the country, taken into 
his service a Christian maid. Meantime, one of his children, 
a boy about seven years of age, became dangerously ill. The 
Christian girl, unadvisedly, and also in opposition to the law, 
baptized him. Her act could not be undone, and the law required 
that every baptized person should be educated as a Christian. [167] 
Pius IX. refused to interfere with the action of this law. Hence 
the torrents of abuse that were poured upon him by the infidel 
liberal press of Europe, as well as by the ultra-Protestant organs 
of England. He had ignored liberty of conscience, abused his 
authority, &c. Now, let us suppose that he had acted otherwise, 
and prevented the execution of a well-known law, what would 


Pius IX. And His Time 

New Sees erected 
by Pius IX. in 





to the 


of the 


Count Orsini 

attempts to murder 
the Emperor 

Napoleon III. 

have been the result? He would have been denounced as a despot, 
whose arbitrary decision was the only law. But might not he, 
who was so great a reformer, have contrived to cause the law to 
be altered? Such alteration could not have affected the Mortara 
case. A change, besides, would have been quite unnecessary, as 
it was not probable that after such a storm, and the lesson which 
it taught, either Jews or Christians would expose themselves to 
the consequences of a violation of their country's laws. And were 
not those laws a sufficient protection to the Jewish people? 

From the first days of his Pontificate, America engaged the 
solicitude of Pius IX. So rapid was the growth of the church on 
that continent that it became necessary to give bishops to several 
countries where the Catholic faith had been scarcely known. So 
early as 1 846 Oregon was constituted an Archiepiscopal See. In 
1850 Episcopal Sees were erected at Monterey and Santa Fe, 
in the Spanish American territory, which was recently annexed 
to the United States, and in Savannah, Wheeling, St. Paul and 
Nesqualy. The Indian territory became a Vicariate Apostolic, 
under the jurisdiction of a bishop. Three years afterwards six more 
sees were established — San Francisco, Brooklyn, Burlington, 
Covington, Erie and Natchitoches. Later still, 1857, Pius IX. 
gave bishops to Illinois; Fort Wayne, in Indiana; and Marquette, 
in Michigan. This last city derived its name from the celebrated 
missionary who first explored the river Mississippi. It was now 
more important than ever, having become a centre of Catholic 
life and action. 

In 1852, Pius IX. beatified John de Britto, a martyr in India, 
John Grande and the renowned Paul of the Cross, who founded 
the zealous and austere order of Passionists. In 1853, the like 
honor was conferred on the pious French shepherdess, Germaine 
Cousin, and the Jesuit father, Andrew Bobola, who was martyred 
by the Cossacks. In 1861, John Leonardi was beatified. 

It is now time to record events of a less pleasing nature. 
In 1853, several attempts had been made on the life of the 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


Emperor Napoleon III. In 1855, Pianori made a similar attempt. 
In 1858, Count Felix Orsini almost succeeded in assassinating 
him. This Orsini was an accomplice of Louis Napoleon in raising 
an insurrection in Romagna in 1831. He was condemned for 
conspiracy in 1845, and was amnestied by Pius IX. In 1849, 
he was a member of the Roman Constituent Assembly. In his 
political testament, dated at the Mazas prison, and read before 
the jury by Jules Favre, his counsel, he coolly declared that the 
object of his crime was to remind the Emperor of his former 
secret engagements in favor of Italian independence; that he was 
only one of the conspirators who had charge so to remind him; 
and that, although he had failed in his aim, others would come 
after him who would not fail. "Sire," he wrote, "let your Majesty 
remember — so long as Italy is not independent, the tranquillity 
of Europe and that of your Majesty are mere chimeras." French 
authors remark that it is painful to enquire what measure of 
influence these threats may have exercised on the subsequent 
resolutions of the man to whom they were addressed, and still 
more painful to be compelled to recognize the unworthy motive 
of fear at the first link of the fatal chain which inevitably led to 
Sedan, where this same man had not the courage to seek a manly 
death. God only could see his secret mind. But it is impossible 
not to observe very sad coincidences. Immediately after Orsini 
had penned his memorable testament, the imperial policy was 
completely changed. The declaration of Orsini is as the 
dividing point between the two portions of the Emperor's reign, 
the former openly, reasonably conservative and glorious, the 
latter sometimes decidedly revolutionary, sometimes vacillating, 
contradictory, or unwillingly conservative, and finally terminated 
by a catastrophe unexampled in the annals of France. 

All who take an interest in public affairs cannot fail to 
remember the startling words which the Emperor Napoleon III. 
addressed to the representative of Austria, on occasion of the 
diplomatic reception at the Tuileries, on New Year's day, 1859: 


The war of 
1859.— The 
legations severed 
from the states of 
the Church. 

168 Pius IX. And His Time 

"I regret that my relations with your government are not so 
good as in the past." This language of Napoleon astonished all 
Europe. It was as a sudden clap of thunder on the calmest summer 
day. Ten days later, Victor Emmanuel gave the interpretation 
of this mysterious speech, at the opening of the Piedmontese 
parliament, when he declared that "he was not unmoved by the 
cries of pain which reached him from so many parts of Italy." 
Finally, the marriage of Prince Napoleon, the Emperor's cousin, 
with a daughter of the Sardinian King, removed all doubt. France 
was made to adopt, without being consulted, the enmities and the 
ambition of the Cabinet of Turin. 

On the 4th of February appeared a pamphlet which increased 
the alarm of the friends of peace and order. It may not have 
been written by Napoleon, but it was according to his ideas 
and dictation. Its title was, "Napoleon III. and Italy," and it 
set forth a programme of the political reconstituting of Italy. 
It exonerated Pius IX. of all the things laid to his charge by 
the revolution, but only in order to lay them at the door of the 
Papacy itself. "The Pope," it alleged, "being placed between 
two classes of duty, is constrained to sacrifice the one to the 
other. He necessarily makes political give way to spiritual 
duty. This is condemnation, not of Pius IX. but of the system; 
not of the man, but of the situation; since the latter imposes 
[170] on the former the formidable alternative of immolating the 

Prince to the Pontiff, or the Pontiff to the Prince." The pamphlet 
further taught: "The absolutely clerical character of the Roman 
government is opposed to common sense, and is a fertile source 
of discontent. The canon law does not suffice for the protection 
and development of modern society." The document concluded 
by proposing the secularization of the Roman government, and 
the establishment of an Italian confederation, of which the Pope 
should have the honorary presidency, whilst Piedmont should 
have the real control. The pamphlet urged, in support of its 
arguments, the "abnormal position" of the Papacy, which was 

Pius IX. And His Time. 169 

obliged, in order to sustain itself, to rely on foreign armies of 
occupation. Such a reproach on the part of one of those who 
lent succor to the Pope was anything but generous. Pius IX. 
hastened to remove this cause of complaint. On the 27th of 
February Cardinal Antonelli notified France and Austria that the 
Holy Father was grateful to them for their good services, but 
that he thought he could himself maintain order in his States, 
and so would beg of them to withdraw their troops. This would 
not have suited Piedmont, which was interested in maintaining 
the grievance, as well as in rendering it possible to involve the 
Roman States in the war which was so rapidly approaching. 
The troops were not removed. Pius IX. was too clear-sighted 
not to foresee what was so soon to happen. In an Encyclical 
of 27th April, he asked prayers for peace of all the patriarchs, 
primates, archbishops and bishops. "Pax vobis! pax vobis!" he 
painfully repeated. But it was already too late. The young and 
rash Emperor of Austria, driven to extremity, thought himself 
sufficiently strong to contend at once against France and the 
revolution. He summoned Piedmont to disband such of her 
regiments as were composed of Lombards and Venetians, who 
were Austrian subjects. As this was refused, he declared war. He 
fell into a second error. He assumed the offensive tardily, and did 
not push forward rapidly to the point where the French army must 
concentrate, before its concentration could be accomplished. He 
made a third and more serious mistake, which proved ruinous. [171] 
He withdrew from the war after his first defeats when his army 
was beat, indeed, but neither broken nor disorganized, when he 
still held the unconquered quadrilateral, and when Prussia and 
Germany were arming to support him. In 1866 he was equally 
imprudent in the war against Prussia, when a continuation of 
the contest would have obliged France, whether willingly or 
otherwise, to intervene, and would probably have saved both 
Austria and France. 

Meanwhile, Napoleon felt that it was necessary to reassure the 

170 Pius IX. And His Time 

Catholics of France. "We do not go to Italy," said he, boldly, but 
untruly, in his proclamation of 3rd May, "in order to encourage 
disorder, nor to shake the power of the Holy Father, whom we 
have replaced on his throne, but in order to liberate him from 
the foreign pressure which weighs upon the whole peninsula, 
and assist in founding order on legitimate interests that will be 
satisfied." M. Rouland, the Minister of Public Worship, wrote 
to the bishops, in order to inspire them with confidence as 
to the consequences of the contest. "The Emperor," he said, 
hypocritically, "has weighed the matter in the presence of God, 
and his well-known wisdom, energy and loyalty will not be 
wanting, either to religion or the country. The prince who has 
given to religion so many proofs of deference and attachment, 
who, after the evil days of 1848, brought back the Holy Father 
to the Vatican, is the firmest support of Catholic unity, and he 
desires that the Chief of the Church shall be respected in all his 
rights as a temporal sovereign. The prince, who saved France 
from the invasion of the democracy, cannot accept either its 
doctrines or its domination in Italy." These declarations, which 
promised so much, were joyfully accepted by the Catholics. 
Events, however, soon made it appear how hollow they were. 
The grand conspiracy, whilst it amused the friends of order and 
legality with fine words and lying protestations, acted in such a 
way as to favor the revolution and meet all its wishes. On the 27th 
of April, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, uncle of Victor Emmanuel, 
[172] was overthrown in consequence of intrigues and plots at the 

house of Signor Buoncompagni, ambassador of the Piedmontese 
King, a fact to which Mr. Scarlett, the British representative, 
bears witness in an official despatch. The same blow was struck, 
and with the like success, against the excellent and popular 
Duchess of Parma. But this princess was immediately recalled 
by the people, who had been taken by surprise, and remained 
until Piedmont took military possession of the Duchies, which it 
never gave up. Prince Napoleon, who commanded the 5th French 

Pius IX. And His Time. 171 

Army Corps, looking out for the enemy by a devious route, in the 
direction of Romagna, reached the battle-field of Solferino too 
late to take part in the fight, but quite in time to make it available 
to the revolution. The Austrian troops who occupied Bologna, 
being threatened by the movement, made haste to recross the 
Po, without waiting to be replaced by a Pontifical garrison, and 
without even advising the Holy See. M. de Cavour's emissaries 
immediately availed themselves of so good an opportunity, took 
possession of the city, where there was not a soldier left, and 
offered its government to Victor Emmanuel. 

They were preparing at Rome to celebrate the thirteenth 
anniversary of the coronation of Pius IX., when the news of 
these sad events reached the city. The addresses of the Pope, 
on this occasion, therefore, were necessarily full of melancholy 
feeling. "In whatever direction I look," said he, in his reply to the 
cardinals, "I behold only subjects of sorrow; but, 'vce homini Mi 
per quern scandalum venitF Woe to that man by whom scandal 
cometh! For my part, personally, I am not shaken; I place my 
trust in God." Three days later, the 18th June, he announced, 
in a consistorial allocution, that Cardinal Antonelli had been 
commissioned to protest at the courts of all the Powers against 
the events in Romagna. But his position as sovereign required of 
him something more than words, and he did not shrink from any 
of his duties. Perugia had followed the example of Bologna, and 
to the former city he despatched troops, who retook it without 
any difficulty. In the contest some twelve men were either killed [173] 
or wounded, and the clamors of the revolutionary press rung 
throughout Europe, denouncing the massacres and the "sack of 

Letter of the Honorable Mrs. Ross from Perugia, vide Weekly 
Register, February 11th, 1860. 

The Truth about Perugia. — We have received from 
Rome an original English copy of the letter of Mrs. Ross 
of Bladensburgh, written from Perugia on the 23rd of June 

172 Pius IX. And His Time 

last, and an Italian version of which we announced last 
week to our readers as having appeared in the Giornale di 
Roma of 23rd ult., and which is referred to in our special 
correspondence from Rome this week. We really never 
expected that our former Perugino antagonist, Mr. Perkins, of 
Boston, should have turned out to be such a very unfortunate 
man. We have now a fair sample of the authorities consulted 
by travellers of his class to procure evidence against the 
Pontifical government. 

Extract from a letter written by the Hon. Mrs. Ross of 
Bladensburgh, to her husband, from Villa Monti, at Perugia, 
dated Perugia, June 21st, 1859. 

"To David Ross, of Bladensburgh, Hautes Pyrenees, 

"I wrote to you last Wednesday, 15th inst., to announce 
a revolution which occurred here on the previous day; now I 
write to relieve your mind of anxiety in case an exaggerated 
account of what has occurred here be given in the public 
papers. I have to tell you of the re-entrance of the Papal 
troops, which took place yesterday after a stubborn resistance 
of four hours on the part of the revolutionists. 

"When the revolt at Perugia was known at Rome, orders 
were given to a body of Swiss troops to replace the little 
garrison which had been driven out. The revolutionary junta 
was well informed of what had been decided on at Rome, 
and immediately prepared to oppose the re-establishment 
of social order in the town. Victor Emmanuel, to whom 
[174] they had offered the town, returned no official answer, 
but, instead, reports were industriously circulated among 
the citizens of sympathy and support from Piedmont. An 
honest refusal on the part of Victor Emmanuel, or an open 
acceptance, would have prevented subsequent events, which 
his calculated silence brought about. On Saturday last, the 
18th inst., we heard that the Pope's troops were close to 

Pius IX. And His Time. 173 

and on Sunday that they had actually arrived there. In the - 

Buoncompagni sent from Tuscany, I am told, 300 muskets 
in aid and wagons were despatched to Arezzo for arms and 
ammunition; barricades were commenced. The monks were 
turned out of their convent at St. Peter's Gate (one of them 
came down to us); and 500 armed men instead were put 
in to defend the gate and first barricade. After two o'clock 
p.m., the gates were closed, and no one could go in or out 
of the town without an order. It was then I wrote a note to 
Mr. Perkins, warning and requesting him and his family to 
accept a shake-down with us; and with difficulty I got the 
note conveyed up to town by a woman who happened to have 
a pass. Nothing could induce any of the peasants about us 
to go near the town, as the revolutionary party were making 
forced levies of the youth of the place, and arming them to 
resist the coming troops. Next morning (Monday the 20th) a 
body of shepherds coming up from the place, told us that they 
had just seen the Swiss troops at Santa Maria degli Angioli, 
where they stopped and had mass, 3 having heard that the 
citizens contemplated resistance. About ten o'clock that same 
morning I got Mr. Perkins' answer to my note; it was to 
this effect — that he had gone to the president (of the Junta), 
who assured him that the Swiss had not yet even reached 

and that certainly they would not arrive before the next 

day at sunset. And the inn-keeper (the notorious Storti), he 

added, said that they were not coming here at all, but going 

to Ancona! I cannot imagine how he could trust such people, 

who were all implicated in the business. His messenger, who [175] 

was one of the servants of the hotel, said, as he gave the note, 

'Don't delay me, or I shall not be in time to kill my three 

or four Swiss,' showing how well informed and prepared the 

hotel was. I should have written again to the poor Perkins' to 

undeceive them; but it was too late, for almost immediately the 

3 ■ 

Mr. Perkins, in his letter to the Times, makes out that they forced open the 
houses of the inhabitants to make them give up their wine, and that they got 

174 Pius IX. And His Time 

columns of the Swiss appeared in the plain below, which you 
know we see from our villa, and the president (revolutionary 
Junta) and other heads of the rebellion had their carriages and 
horses ready waiting. They fled at the first gun, leaving the 
people to act for themselves after having inflamed, deceived 
and armed them, and gathered into the town all the canaille 
they could get from the neighboring country. From the 
moment the troops appeared, all the peasants belonging to 
the villa flocked around us. Anxiety was depicted on every 
face. The countenance of one old man in particular was very 
striking — 'bad times,' he murmured. 'We have fallen on evil 
days — respect and awe are gone, and the people are blinded.' 
The parish priest was also with us, and the monk I mentioned 
before. We watched with great anxiety the slow ascent of 
the troops up the long five miles to the city gate. There the 
colonel and his men halted, and he parleyed with the people. 
We could see him stop and address them, and then we saw a 
volley fired down on them by the armed men in the convent 
windows. The first fire was from the people on the troops. 
We could see all from our villa windows like a scene on the 
stage; while the distance was sufficient to veil the horrors of 
war. Then we saw some troops separate from the main body 
and advance to the foot of the wall, and in the twinkling of an 
eye they scaled it, amid a hot fire from the insurgents, whom 
we heard shouting out, 'Coraggio! coraggio!' from behind 
the walls. Then we saw one soldier rush up and tear down the 
revolutionary flag, and carry it in triumph back to the main 
body of the troops, and then we saw the Pontifical flag float 
where the revolutionary one had been. In the meantime the 
rest of the troops had planted their cannon opposite to the city 
[176] gate. Boom! boom! they went at the barricades, and in an 

hour after the firing of the first gun, they had driven out the 
500 armed men from the convent of St. Peter's, and entered 
the first enclosure of the town. We then saw no more, but 
sat all that afternoon in the window, listening to the incessant 
firing in deep anxiety. As the soldiers fought their way up 

Pius IX. And His Time. 175 

to their barracks, and as the report of the arms became more 
and more distant, we could judge pretty well of the advance 
of the troops, knowing as we did the chief points of resistance 
within. The first gun fired was at three o'clock p.m. precisely, 
and at seven p.m. all was silent again; the soldiers had reached 

their barracks. I hear that have fled out towards Arezzo; 

all the canaille of the villages of the place were enlisted to 
defend the city, and it was the talk of the country that had 
the Swiss been beaten, the city was to have been pillaged by 
that armed mob. They say that had they not had promises 
of succor from Victor Emmanuel (the 'Re Galantuomo'), and 
of encouragement from Princess Valentini (nee Buonaparte, 
who resides here), they would not have resisted as they did: 
thus were they deceived! There is more in it all than one 
sees at first; and clearly it was an affair got up to make out 
a case against the Pope. Piedmontese money was circulated 

there just before the revolution. N got it in change in the 


"June 22. — P.S. — Our servant has been to town to-day; 
he brings me a letter from the Perkins', and such news as is 
the general talk of the cafes. Our poor friends in the Hotel 
de France (Locanda Storti) suffered much. Deceived to the 
last, they had not even been told of the actual arrival of the 
troops, and had just sat quietly to dinner when the roar of the 
guns startled them. They strove to go to another hotel, but 
alas! the gates of their inn were fastened; they could not stir. 
The letter I got from them said that the troops were irritated 
on account of the firing from the roof. We knew beforehand 
how it would be there; and in fact they did shoot an officer 
and two men while passing the door. It was on this that the 
soldiers, infuriated, rushed and assailed the house.... I hear 
every one blames the imprudence of these people. They [177] 

could not afford to be hostile; for the hotel, if you remember, 
commands the street from the base up the hill. No troops, 
therefore, could risk going up that hill with a hostile house in 
that position ready to take them in the rear. The escape of the 

176 Pius IX. And His Time 

poor Perkins' is a perfect miracle; they, I hear, lost everything. 
The innkeeper, waiter and stableman, they say, were killed 
in the fray. The number of deaths among the Swiss were 10, 
and 33 of the Perugians. Several prisoners were made. I went 
up on this same afternoon (June 22) with the two little boys 
to see the colonel of the regiment. The town is wonderfully 
little injured, only broken windows ... after a mob riot, with 
the exception of a few houses in the suburbs, between the 
outer and inner gates. One was burned by the accident of the 
falling of a bomb-shell. The other was cannonaded as being a 
resort of the rebels. There is great talk of how the heads of the 
revolution scampered off, betraying thus the tools and dupes 
of their faction." 

Extract from another letter to David Ross of Bladensburgh: 

"There is great terror here among all the country people, 

who dread, sooner or later, vengeance being taken upon them 

by the revolutionary party, because they would have nothing 

to say to the movement." 

The peace of It is well known how rapidly events succeeded one another, 
Viiiafranca. when Napoleon's friendly relations with Austria came to an end. 

On May 3rd he declared war. On the 12th he arrived at Genoa, 
commanded in person, on the 4th of June, at the battle of Magenta, 
where, but for the superior generalship of Marshal McMahon, he 
would have lost his life, together with his army, and on the 24th 
of the same month won the great victory of Solferino. He now 
gave out that he had enough of glory and would fight no more, 
whilst in reality he was constrained to yield to powerful pressure 
from without. Prussia, foreseeing that, if Austria experienced 
a few more defeats, she herself would suffer, deemed it wise 
[178] to interfere. Prussia had, indeed, concerted matters beforehand 

with the Emperor of the French, and had undertaken to isolate 
Austria, her hereditary rival in Germany. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 177 

But at the first rumor of the Franco-Piedmontese aggression, 
the German States were moved. The Diet of Francfort insisted 
that the confederate nations should proceed to assist the Emperor, 
who was President of the German Confederation. It fell to Prussia 
to head the movement. But, as may be conceived, she was not 
hearty in the cause. Her statesmen hesitated, argued, equivocated, 
and made a show of preparing, but slowly, for war. Meanwhile, 
the news of the successive defeats of Austria roused still more 
the patriotism of the Germans. The Prussian monarch, finding 
that he was on the point of being overwhelmed, addressed to 
his Imperial accomplice, the day after the battle of Solferino, a 
most pressing telegram, informing him that he must make peace, 
cost what it would. Napoleon, it need hardly be said, obeyed, 
and so the peace of Villafranca was concluded. By this treaty 
was established an Italian Confederation, under the honorary 
presidency of the Pope, Lombardy given to Piedmont, Venice 
left to Austria, the rights of the Grand Duke of Tuscany and 
the other sovereigns, who were for the moment dispossessed, 
expressly reserved. Thus appeared to end the intrigues of the 
revolution. Pius IX. promptly invited the faithful of Rome to 
join with him in offering thanksgiving to God. His letter thus 
concludes: "What do we pray for? That all the enemies of Christ, 
of His Church and of the Holy See, may be converted and live." 

So clear, apparently, was now the political atmosphere, that How the treaty was 
men could not avoid accusing themselves of having judged 
rashly the mighty conqueror, who, by a word, could restore 
serenity as easily as he had disturbed it. It was not yet known 
by what power he was restrained. In compliance with the 
requirements of the treaty of Villafranca, Piedmont, indeed, 
withdrew her commissioners from Central Italy. The public, [179] 
however, soon learned, to its great astonishment, what, at first, 
it could not believe, that provisional governments took the place 
of the Piedmontese Commissioners, and that Baron Ricasoli, at 
Florence, Signor Farini, at Modena and Parma, and Cipriani, 


178 Pius IX. And His Time 

at Bologna, all agents of Count de Cavour and the revolution, 
dismissed everywhere such officials as were suspected of looking 
seriously to the return of the legitimate sovereigns, and had 
recourse to popular suffrage. This, it is no exaggeration to say, 
was a mere mockery. The voting directed, expurgated by these 
parties, never extended to the landward districts, but, confined 
entirely to the towns, was necessarily calculated to produce the 
result at which they aimed — a plebiscitum in favor of annexation 
to Piedmont. In Romagna, for instance, where there were about 
two hundred thousand electors, only 18,000 were registered, and 
of these only one-third presented their votes. By such means was 
a national assembly constituted. This assembly met at Bologna 
on the 6th of September, and at its first sitting voted the abolition 
of the Pontifical government, and invited Victor Emmanuel. 
This potentate dared not, at first, to accept, but appointed Signor 
Buoncompagni, governor-general of the league of Central Italy. 
It did not appear from the state of the polls, if, indeed, the polling 
of votes was even made a fashion of, that the people of the Papal 
States were at all anxious to do away with the government under 
which they and their forefathers had enjoyed so many blessings, 
together with the surpassing honor of possessing, as their capital, 
the metropolis of the Christian world. They were too happy in 
being ruled over by the elective monarch whom they themselves 
had chosen, to desire, in preference to him, the mere shadow of 
a king — the satrap of an Imperial despot. It was not they who, in 
a pretended patriotic endeavor to shake off the Pontifical yoke, 
raised the standard of rebellion in so many cities and provinces 
of the Papal States. This was wholly the work of foreigners. A 
Bonaparte, attended by a numerous and well-disciplined army, 
[180] invaded Italy. His arms were, to a certain extent, successful; 

and so rebellion was encouraged. Another Bonaparte excited to 
revolt the city of Perugia. The disturbance was speedily settled 
by a handful of troops whom the sovereign had despatched from 
Rome, to the great satisfaction of the citizens of Perugia. In 

Pius IX. And His Time. 179 

other cities, by the like instrumentalities, were like movements 
occasioned. They were invariably suppressed by the loyal and 
devoted people. So much was this the case that the Pontifical 
government warmly thanked the mayors and municipalities of no 
fewer than seven or eight cities for their good services in putting 
down the nascent revolution. At Bologna, the capital of the 
Romagnol or iEmilian provinces, a cousin of the Bonapartes, the 
Marquis Pepoli, whom the benevolence of Pius IX. had restored 
to his country, stirred up rebellion, and caused the Pontifical 
government to give place to revolutionary misrule. The abettors 
of Pepoli, in this most base and ungrateful proceeding, were his 
associates of the secret societies; others who were foreigners at 
Bologna, and a few malcontents of that city itself. But all these 
were far from being the citizens of Bologna, far from being the 
people of the Bolognese provinces. Whilst such things were 
done, where was the peace of Villafranca? It had become, or 
rather, never was anything better than, waste paper. The head 
of the Bonapartes was the offender, and he contrived to make 
France the partner of his guilt. 

"It is France," the illustrious M. de Montalembert affirms, 
"that has allowed the temporal power of the Pope to be shaken. 
This is the fact, which blind men only can deny. France is not 
engaged alone in this path, but her overwhelming ascendancy 
places her at the head of the movement, and throws the great 
and supreme responsibility of it upon her. We know all the 
legitimate and crushing reproaches that are due to England and 
Piedmont; but if France had so willed it, Piedmont would not 
have dared to undertake anything against the Holy See, and 
England would have been condemned to her impotent hatred.... 
The Congress of Paris, in 1856 — having solemnly declared, 'that 
none of the contracting powers had the right of interfering, [181] 
either collectively or individually, between a sovereign and his 

180 Pius IX. And His Time 

subjects' 4 — after having proclaimed the principle of the absolute 
independence of sovereigns in favor of the Turkish Sultan against 
his Christian subjects, thought itself justified by its protocol of 
April 8th, and in the absence of any representative of the 
august accused, in proclaiming that the situation of the Papal 
States was abnormal and irregular. This accusation, developed, 
aggravated and exaggerated in parliament and elsewhere, by Lord 
Palmerston and Count Cavour, was, nevertheless, formally put 
forward under the presidency and on the initiative of the French 
minister for foreign affairs. Consequently, France must be held 
accountable for it to the Church, and to the rest of Europe." The 
war which "the skilful but guilty perseverance of Piedmontese 
policy" succeeded in occasioning between France and Austria 
facilitated not a little the work of revolution in the States of the 
Church. In order to dispel the fears that prevailed, the following 
words were addressed to the Bishops of France by the minister 
of the Emperor: "The prince who restored the Holy Father to his 
throne in the Vatican wills that the Head of the Church should 
be respected in all his rights as a temporal sovereign." A little 
later, the Emperor of the French, elated with his military success, 
issued a proclamation which renewed the apprehensions that 
had been so happily allayed. "Italians ! — Providence sometimes 
favors nations and individuals by giving them the opportunity of 
suddenly springing into their full growth. Avail yourselves, then, 
of the fortune that is offered you! Your desire of independence, 
so long expressed, so often deceived, will be realized, if you 
show yourselves worthy of it. Unite then for one sole object, 
the liberation of your country. Fly to the standards of King 
Victor Emmanuel, who has already so nobly shown you the way 
to honor. Remember that without discipline there can be no 
army, and animated with the sacred fire of patriotism, be soldiers 
only to-day, and you will be to-morrow free citizens of a great 

4 Protocol, March 18th. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 1 8 1 

country." [182] 

"The Romagnese," continues Montalembert, "took the speaker 
at his word. Four days after the appearance of this 
proclamation, they rose against the Papal authority, created 
a provisional government, convoked a sovereign assembly, 
voted the deposition of the Pope, and the annexation to 
Piedmont. Finally, seeing their audacity remained unpunished, 
they organized an armed league, officered by Piedmontese, and 
commanded by Garibaldi — that Garibaldi, who, having been 
vanquished by French troops ten years ago, now avails himself 
of our recent hard- won victories, to boast that he will 'soon make 
an end of clerical despotism. ' " 

Three months after the revolution had been established in 
the Romagna, M. de Montalembert wrote: "The revolution, 
triumphant, is still asking Europe to sanction its work. France 
has to impute to herself all the scandals and all the calamities 
that will follow. Great nations are responsible not only for what 
they do, but for what they permit to be done under the shadow 
of their flag, and by the incitement of their influence. The war 
which France waged in Italy has cost the Pope the loss of the 
third part of his dominions, and the irreparable weakening of his 
hold on what remains. The eldest daughter of the church will 
remain accountable for it before contemporaries, before history, 
before Europe, and before God. She will not be allowed to wipe 
her mouth like the adultress in Scripture, qua? tergens os suum 
elicit, non sum operata malum." 

Another power which was, in the full sense of the term,foreign 
in the Roman States, still more directly aided the revolution. This 
power was the army of Garibaldi. It will be seen, when it is 
considered what troops this army was composed of, that it was 
wholly alien in the States of the Church. In this motley corps 
there were: 

6,750 Piedmontese volunteers. 
3,240 Lombards volunteers 

1 82 Pius IX. And His Time 

1,200 Venetians. 
2,150 Neapolitans and Sicilians. 
500 Romans. 
[183] 1,200 Hungarians. 

200 French. 
30 English. 

150 Maltese and Ionians. 
260 Greeks. 
450 Poles. 
370 Swiss. 

160 Spaniards, Belgians and Americans. 
800 Austrian deserters and liberated convicts. 

Could such an army as this be held to be a representation 
of the people of the Papal States? One-third of it was supplied 
by two hostile nations, one of which, Piedmont, had actually, 
by the intrigues of its government and in pursuance of a policy 
which an able statesman, a most candid writer and an honorable 
man, Count Montalembert, has stigmatized as criminal, caused 
the rebellion in Romagna, and has since earnestly labored to 
avail itself of the state of things, by annexing Central Italy to 
the territories of the Piedmontese King. It were superfluous to 
direct attention to the numbers of foreigners from various states. 
It is, however, deserving of remark that the whole population 
of the Papal States, amounting to 3,000,000, should have shown 
its alleged sympathy with the "cause of Italy," by sending only 
500 men to fight its battles. They did not want courage, as was 
shown in 1848, when neither the considerate advice and paternal 
remonstrances of the Holy Father, nor the wise counsel of grave 
statesmen and learned cardinals, could moderate the ardor of 
the Roman youth, believing, as they had been persuaded, that 
patriotism and duty called them to follow the standard of King 
Charles Albert. Then they took up arms, as they conceived, in 
the cause of Italian liberty. But now that honorable cause was 
manifestly in abeyance; and they would not leave their homes and 

Pius IX. And His Time. 1 83 

endanger their lives for the phantom of national independence 
offered them by the revolution. 

The French were equally wary. They sympathized with Italy. 
They fought for their Emperor. But they had no admiration [184] 
for Piedmontese ambition, or that of Murats, and Pepolis, and 

England was more cautious still. However much her 
demagogues may have exerted their oratorical powers at home, 
they carefully avoided perilling either life or limb in the cause 
of the revolution. A more numerous band of fighting men of 
English origin, in Garibaldi's ranks, would have shown more 
sympathy with rebellion in some Italian States than the proposal 
made by a right honorable member of the richest peerage in 
the world to raise a penny subscription in order to supply the 
rebels with bayonets and fire-arms. When we call to mind 
that this suggestion was made by that very lordly peer who 
was once Governor-General of India, we have little difficulty in 
understanding why his superiors, the members of the East India 
Company, dismissed him from the high and responsible office 
with which he had been entrusted. 

It cannot be pretended that the army of Garibaldi was, in any 
degree, a national representation. No nation or community can 
be fairly represented by a number of its people, insignificantly 
small, unless, indeed, these few individuals hold commission 
from their fellow-countrymen. We have not read anywhere that 
the Garibaldian army was thus honored. Social status, character 
and respectability, may, on occasions, give to individuals the 
privilege of representing their country. But on these grounds 
the motley troop of the revolutionary leader possessed no claim. 
They were men for whom peace and order have no charms. The 
powerful corrective of military discipline was applied to them 
in vain. Their insubordination was notorious. To Garibaldi 
even it was intolerable. And this man, daring as he was, 
withdrew from the command in disgust. He had scarcely retired 

1 84 Pius IX. And His Time 

when many of his men deserted. These the people refused 
to recognize, and would not afford them assistance on their 
journey. Some fifty of them arrived at Placentia, after having 
been reduced to mendicancy before they could reach their homes. 
The revolutionary governor, Doctor Fanti, issued an order of the 
[185] day, requiring that these men, on account of their insubordination 

and bad conduct, should not be admitted anew into the army of 
the League. The general-in-chief also published an order, under 
date of 26th November, 1859, absolutely forbidding to accept 
any person who had belonged to Garibaldi's force. An army 
so composed could, by no means, claim to represent the highly 
refined, intellectual, and moral populations of Italy. Far less 
did it afford any proof that the people of the Papal States were 
anxious to forward the work of the revolution. 

The inhabitants of Rome and the Roman States, far from 
showing any inclination to side with the revolutionary party, 
were wont never to let pass an opportunity of manifesting their 
satisfaction with the government of the Pope. His Holiness 
walked abroad without guards. And although he sought the 
most retired places, for the enjoyment of that pedestrian exercise 
which his health required, numbers of the people often contrived 
to throw themselves in his way, in order to testify to him 
their reverence and affection, as well as to receive his paternal 
benediction. When taking his walk, one day, on Monte 
Pincio, many thousands came around him, declaring loudly 
their unfeigned loyalty. The following day, still greater crowds 
repaired to the same place. But the Holy Father, with a view to 
be more retired, had gone in another direction. It ought not to be 
forgotten, that when returning, in the autumn of 1859, from his 
villa at Castel Gandolpho, the road was thronged on both sides 
to the distance of four miles from Rome with citizens who had 
no other object in view than to give a cordial and loyal welcome 
to their Bishop and Prince. This was an ovation — a triumph 
which the greatest conqueror might well have envied. It has 

Pius IX. And His Time. 1 85 

already been recorded that, on occasion of the progress which 
the Holy Father made through his States, he was everywhere 
received with the most lively demonstrations of enthusiastic 
loyalty, reverence and affection. On the 18th of January, 1860, 
the municipal body, or, as it is called, "the Senate," of Rome, 
presented to the Sovereign Pontiff, as well in their own name 
as on behalf of all the people, an address expressive of their [186] 
filial duty and loyal sentiments. On the following day, January 
19th, one hundred and thirty-four of the nobility of Rome, who 
are, in all, one hundred and sixty, approached the person of the 
Pontiff in order to present an equally loyal and dutiful address. 
The sentiments of this address will be best conveyed in its own 
plain and energetic language — language which does honor to the 
patricians of modern Rome: 

"We, the undersigned, deeply grieved by the publication of 
various libels which, emanating from the revolutionary press, 
tend to make the world believe that the people subject to the 
authority of your Holiness are wishing to shake off the yoke 
which, as it is reported, has become insufferable, feel necessitated 
to show fidelity and loyalty to your Holiness, and to make known 
to the rest of Europe, which, at the present moment, doubts the 
sincerity of our words, the fidelity of our persons towards your 
Holiness, by a manifestation of attachment and fidelity towards 
your person, proceeding from our duty as Catholics, and from 
our lawful submission as your subjects. 

"It is not, however, our intention to vie with the miserable 
cunning of your enemies — enemies of the faith — of that very 
faith which they profess to venerate. But placed, as it is our 
fortune, by your side, and seeing the malignity of those who 
attack you, and the disloyal character of their attacks, we feel 
bound to gather ourselves at the foot of your twofold throne, 
with vows for the integrity of your independent sovereignty; 
and once more offering you our whole selves, too happy if 
this manifestation of our fidelity may sweeten the bitterness 

1 86 Pius IX. And His Time 

with which your Holiness is afflicted, and if you are pleased to 
accept our offerings. Thus may Europe, deceived by so many 
perverse writings, be thoroughly convinced that if the nobility 
have hitherto been restrained from the expression of their desires 
by respect and the fear of throwing any obstacle in the way of 
a happy solution, so anxiously desired, they have not the less 
[187] retained them, and expressed them as individuals; and that they, 

this day, unite to declare them, heartily and sincerely pledging to 
them before all the world their honor and their faith. 

"Accept, Holy Father, Pontiff and King, this energetic protest 
and the unlimited devotedness which the nobles of Rome offer 
in reverence to your Sceptre, no less than to your Pastoral 
staff." — {In the Weekly Register of January 28, 1860, from the 
Giornale di Roma.) 

The like loyal and patriotic feeling was manifested throughout 
all the cities and provinces of the Papal States. One of the most 
eminent of liberal British statesmen, the Marquis of Normanby, 
bears witness to the fact that very few of the citizens of Bologna 
could be compelled, even at the point of the sword, to express 
adherence to the revolution. A portion of the periodical press 
labored to keep such facts as these out of view. But they 
would have required better evidence than they were ever able 
to produce in order to convince reasonable and reflecting men 
that people, blessed with so great a degree of material prosperity 
as the subjects of the Pope and the other Princes of Italy, were 
anxious to see radical changes introduced into the governments 
under which they were so favored. That they were highly 
prosperous and but slightly taxed, many distinguished travellers, 
members of both houses of the British parliament, and others 
bear witness. None will question the evidence of these facts 
which are known on the authority of such men as the Marquis 
of Normanby and his Excellency the Earl of Carlisle. The Hon. 
Mr. Pope Hennessey stated in the House of Commons: "That 
the national prosperity of the States of the Church and of Austria 

Pius IX. And His Time. 1 87 

had become greater, year after year, than that of Sardinia (where 
a sort of revolutionary constitution had been established), and 
that documents existed in the Foreign Office, in the shape of 
reports from our own consuls, which proved it, with respect to 
commercial interests in Sardinia. Mr. Erskine, our minister at 
Turin, in a despatch of January 7, 1856, gave a very unfavorable 
view of the manufacturing, mining and agricultural progress of 
Sardinia. But from Venetia, Mr. Elliott gave a perfectly opposite 
view, showing that great progress was being made there. The 
shipping trade of Sardinia with England had declined 2,000 tons. 
But the British trade with Ancona had increased 21,000 tons, 
and with Venice 25,000 tons, in the course of the last two years. 
He attributed these results to the increase of taxation in Sardinia, 
through the introduction of the constitutional (the Sardinian 
institutional) system of government, and to the comparatively 
easy taxation of Venetia. The increased taxation of Sardinia from 
1847 to 1857 was no less than 50,000,000 francs. With respect 
to education in the Papal States, he contended that it was more 
diffused than it was in this country — Great Britain." 

In countries that were so prosperous, every man literally 
"sitting under his own vine and his own fig-tree," it is difficult 
to believe that there was wide-spread discontent and a general 
desire for radical changes. To prove that there was, it would 
have required evidence of no ordinary weight. All testimony 
that can be relied on shows a very different state of feeling. 
Lord John Russell, in his too memorable Aberdeen speech, 
gave expression to an opinion which, through the labors of the 
newspaper press, had become very prevalent in England, that 
"under their provisional revolutionary governments the people of 
Central Italy had conducted themselves with perfect order, just 
as if they had been the citizens of a country that had long enjoyed 
free institutions." 

The Marquis of Normanby, in his place in the British House 

188 Pius IX. And His Time 

[189] of Peers, made reply to this allegation: 5 

"I should like to know where the noble Lord found that 
information. There is not in Central Italy a single government 
that has resulted from popular election. They were all named 
by Piedmont — which had, as it were, packed the cards. Liberty 
of speech there was none, nor liberty of the press, nor personal 
liberty.... The Grand Duchess of Parma was expelled by a 
Piedmontese army, and restored by the spontaneous call of her 
people. She left the country, declaring that she would suffer 
everything sooner than expose her subjects to the horrors of civil 
war.... Numberless atrocities have been committed under the rule 
of these governments which, according to my noble friend, are 
so wise and orderly. I read to you the first day of this session the 
letter of a Tuscan, whose character is irreproachable. Since that 
time I have received from him another letter, in which he says: 
'You will not be surprised to learn that my letter to you has been 
the occasion of the coarsest invectives. For what reason I cannot 
tell, if it was not because it spoke the truth. ' 

"Here is a second letter, which I received a few days ago 

5 "If we were to sift the pretensions of all our public men, to discover that 
one person who is necessarily best informed of the past and present state of 
Italy, and the causes and means that have produced the anarchy which now 
prevails over the greater part of that unfortunate peninsula, Lord Normanby 
would inevitably be the man for our purpose. His long residence in Italy, his 
intimate acquaintance with all that is there distinguished for literature, science, 
art and statesmanship, and his unquestionable liberality of sentiment, as a 
politician, give him a paramount claim to our respectful attention, and even 
to our confidence, when he comes forward to enlighten his countrymen, with 
respect to Italian affairs — a claim to which no other member of the legislature 
can have the slightest pretensions. He has, too, throughout a long public 
career, always maintained such an independence of character, and so nobly and 
generously subordinated his personal interests to his sense of public duty, as 
to entitle him as a right to our confidence, when he unbosoms himself either in 
print or in speech, of that knowledge which he has acquired by long study and 
experience in official and non-official life, and tells us important truths which 
it is necessary for us to know, in order to be able to form a correct judgment 
upon momentous passing events." — Weekly Register, February 11, 1860. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 189 

from an English merchant of the highest standing at Leghorn: 
'No intervention is allowed in Tuscany; and nevertheless, my 
Lord, intervention appears everywhere; even armed and foreign 
intervention. The governor-general is a Piedmontese; the minister 
of war is a Piedmontese; the commander of the armed police is a 
Piedmontese; the military governor of Leghorn is a Piedmontese; 
the captain of the port is a Piedmontese; without reckoning a great 
number of other functionaries of the same nation. This is what 
I call armed and foreign intervention. Let us be disembarrassed 
of all this; let us be free from the despotic pressure of this [190] 
government, and the great majority of the country would vote 
the restoration of the House of Lorraine. Almost all the army 
would be for the Grand Duke, and on this account it is kept at 
a distance from Tuscany. I can say the same of two-thirds of 
the national guard. All the Great Powers have observed strict 
neutrality here, inasmuch as they have not been present at any 
ceremony which could be looked upon as a recognition of the 
existing government. But since the peace of Villafranca, the 
English agents have taken part in all the ceremonies, in all the 
balls.' Assuredly, thus to recognize such a government is far 
from being faithful to the assurance given last session by the 
noble Lord at the head of the foreign department (cheers)." 

Lord Normanby's trustworthy correspondent says, moreover, 
in the letter referred to, that the Tuscan troops being kept 
at a distance from Tuscany, the people dreaded making any 
demonstration, being well aware that an imprudent word would 
be punished with imprisonment. "At Leghorn, however, some 
private meetings were held, at which influential persons were 
present. Public meetings are impossible. Twenty-three members 
of the assembly asked that it should be convened. This was 
refused them. At the private meetings, however, it was decided 
that Ferdinand IV. should be recalled, on condition of granting 
a constitution and an amnesty. The people have been dreadfully 
deceived. All promises have been violated, the price of provisions 

190 Pius IX. And His Time 

has risen, the national debt has been enormously increased." 

Lord Normanby also laid before the House of Peers the 
testimony of a distinguished Italian writer, Signor Amperi, whom 
he described as a man of high character. This gentleman 
addressed the governments of Central Italy in the following 

"The false position in which you have placed yourselves has 
reduced you to the necessity, in times of liberty, as you pretend, 
but of false liberty, as I conceive, to make falsehood a system 
[191] of government. Of the promises of Victor Emmanuel that he 

would sustain before the Great Powers the vote of the Tuscan 
Assembly, you have made a formal accepting for himself of this 
vote, and, in order to deceive the ignorant multitude, you ordered 
public rejoicings in honor of a fact which you knew to be false. 
You declared yourselves the ministers of a king who had not 
appointed you. You administer the government in his name; 
you give judgments in his name; you pledge the public faith of 
a sovereign who has given you no commission to do any such 
thing; and although you forced the Tuscans to acknowledge him 
for king, you despise his authority to such an extent as to impose 
upon him the choice of a regent. What right have you to do this, 
if he be really king, and if he be not, is your right any better 

The Marquis of Normanby laughs to scorn the various attempts 
that were made to establish a government in Central Italy against 
the will of the people. First of all, a certain Signor Buoncompagni 
was appointed governor-general by the King of Sardinia. The 
Emperor of the French judged that the ambitious satrap had 
exceeded his powers, and Buoncompagni was immediately 
recalled. The Prince de Carignan was then offered the regency 
of Central Italy. He thought it prudent to decline; but, unwilling 
wholly to relinquish a cherished object of ambition, he named in 
his place the above-mentioned Signor Buoncompagni. It would 
be hard to say in virtue of what right he so acted. The appointment, 

Pius IX. And His Time. 191 

it is well known, caused the greatest indignation at Florence, and 
elicited a protest from the liberal representatives themselves. 
Will it be believed, in after times, that the British ministry, at that 
time in power, actually recognized this spurious government, 
ordering the Queen's representative to pay an official visit to 
Signor Buoncompagni? Whilst all Europe held aloof, anxious to 
avoid wrong and insult to the Italian people, whence this zeal 
and haste on the part of the British cabinet? At first they had 
resolved to be neutral. But there occurred to them the chimerical 
idea of a great kingdom of Central Italy; and, as Lord Normanby 
stated, they hastened in their ignorance to carry this idea into [192] 
effect. "Yes," continued the illustrious Peer, when assailed by 
the laughter of the more ignorant portion of his hearers, "yes, in 
complete ignorance of the aspirations and the prejudices of the 
Italian people." 

"It is a painful duty," said the illustrious statesman, in 
concluding his eloquent appeal to the common sense and 
honorable feeling of the British peerage, "to have to dispel the 
illusions of public opinion in regard to Italy. I have endeavored 
to fulfil this duty by laying before you information that can 
be relied on; and I have the pleasure to observe that light is 
now beginning to penetrate the darkness which has hitherto 
enveloped this question. There is already a greater chance that 
Italian independence will be established on a more legitimate 
basis, free from all foreign intervention, and in such a way as to 
favor the cause of fidelity, of truth, of honor and general order 

If there were no foreign intervention, it was long the fashion 
with certain parties to say, we should soon see the end of Papal 
rule, as well as that of all the other sovereignties of Italy. Such, 
however, were not the views of the great majority of the Italian 
people. It has been satisfactorily proved, those people themselves 
being the witnesses, that such of them as were subjects of the 
Pope, far from being discontented and anxious to do away with 

192 Pius IX. And His Time 

the government which was set over them, and substitute for it 
either a republic or a foreign monarchy, highly appreciated and 
were steadfastly devoted to the wise and paternal rule of their 
Pontiff Sovereign. The subjects of the other Italian Princes, as 
well as the inhabitants of the revolutionized portion of the Papal 
States, were only prevented by the armed intervention of foreign 
Powers from declaring in favor of their rightful sovereigns. 
There is no pretension to deny that there were reformers and 
constitutionalists in those States. Of their number the Pope 
himself was one. But the well-informed and intellectual Italians 
were not ignorant that all reforms must be the fruit of time and of 
opinion, and that under the sway of enlightened and benevolent 
[193] sovereigns, aided by the learning and wise counsel of able and 

conscientious statesmen, such changes, in matters of civil polity, 
as were adapted to the wants of the people would not have 
been delayed beyond the time when circumstances called for and 
justified their adoption. 

The French All eyes were turned towards the victor of Solferino, who 

Emperor connives was ^ a b somte master of the situation. What would he do? 

at the violation of 

the Treaty. Would he allow to be violated the definitive treaty which his 

Plenipotentiaries were actually completing at Zurich? Napoleon 
III. did positively nothing. He repeated in the treaty the 
stipulations in favor of the dispossessed sovereigns, just as if 
the pretended plebiscitums were null, and he had no knowledge 
of them. He quietly permitted these plebiscitums to take effect 
with all their consequences, quite the same as if the treaty had 
never existed. Austria saw the treaty executed, as regarded every 
sacrifice to which she had consented, and not without pain, that it 
was set aside in all the points which set a limit to those sacrifices. 
But Austria was not the strongest Power. Piedmont, meanwhile, 
adhibited her signature without wincing under those of France 
and Austria. Thus, as Mgr. Pie of Poitiers declared, the church 
was deprived of all human stay. Such a state of things was 
not witnessed without emotion. Even in the frivolous society 

Pius IX. And His Time. 193 

of France a change had taken place since the days of the great 
revolution. Catholic sentiment had gained among the lettered 
classes. The dethronement of Pius VI. had passed unnoticed, like 
that of an ordinary sovereign. That of Pius VII. had excited only 
some isolated animadversions. That of Pius IX. raised storms 
of protestation on the one hand, and on the other thunders of 
applause. One party so hated the Papacy as to become traitors to 
their country, and bind themselves with a sort of wild enthusiasm, 
first to the car of Italian unity, afterwards to that of Germany. 
They who thought otherwise carried their love of the imperilled 
institution to such an extent as to forget all their calculations, all 
their political alliances, and to incur freely the displeasure of men [194] 
in power, even to sacrifice the favor of the multitude, favor which 
was not less valuable in times of universal suffrage than that of 
power. The Roman question became the inexhaustible subject of 
public discussions and private conversations. It sometimes even 
occasioned family quarrels, and was a trying ordeal for long- 
established friendships. Such extraordinary emotion on account 
of an idea — an abstraction, as it was called by the indifferent, 
who took part with neither one side nor the other — showed that 
society was not yet corroded to the core by selfishness and purely 
material interests. It was sick, indeed, but far from dead. The 
French government ought, surely, at the outset, to have taken 
warning. It ought to have learned something from the unanimity 
with which all the enemies of order, who were also its enemies, 
supported its new policy, and the unanimity, not less remarkable, 
with which religious people who, generally, had been its friends, 
combated that policy. Both liberal and ultramontane Catholics, 
Protestants even, such, at least, as were earnest Christians, and 
practised what they believed, forgot their divisions. The bishops 
were the first who spoke out. Mgr. de Parisis, who had so nobly 
contended for the liberties of the church in the reign of Louis 
Philippe, gave the keynote, and all took part with him and their 
venerable colleagues of Italy and Germany, of Ireland and Spain, 

194 Pius IX. And His Time 

of England and America. To say all in a word, the note of alarm 
was sounded throughout the whole extent of Christendom. 

In this magnificent concert was heard the courageous language 
of Mgr. Dupanloup, the learned and illustrious Bishop of Orleans. 
On the 30th of September, 1859, this prelate wrote, no less boldly 
than eloquently: 

"People say that to touch the sovereign is not to touch the 
Pontiff. Certainly his temporal power is not a divine institution; 
who does not know this? But it is a providential institution, and 
who is ignorant of the fact? Doubtless, during three centuries, the 
Popes only possessed independence enough to die martyrs; but 
[195] they assuredly had a right to another sort of independence; and 

providence, which does not always use miracles for its purpose, 
ended by founding on the most lawful sovereignty in Europe the 
freedom and the independence necessary to the church. History 
proves it beyond the possibility of doubt; all eminent intellects 
have confessed it; all true statesmen know it. Yes, that the 
church may be free, the Pope must be free and independent. That 
independence must be sovereign. The Pope must be free, and he 
must be evidently so. The Pope must be free in his own interior as 
well as in his exterior government. This must be so, for the sake 
of his own dignity in the government of the church as well as for 
the security of our own consciences. This must be so, in order 
to secure to the common parent of all the faithful that neutrality 
which is indispensable to him amid the frequent wars between 
Christian Powers. The Pope must not only be free in his own 
conscience, in his own interior, but it must be evident to all that 
he is so; he must show himself to be so, in order that all may know 
and believe it, and that no doubt or suspicion be possible on this 
subject. But, say the Italian revolutionists, we do not propose to 
do away with the Papal sovereignty; we merely wish to limit and 
restrain it. And why so, I ask you in my turn, if thereby you also 
diminish and debase the honor of the Catholic religion, its dignity 
and independence? Why do so, if thereby you lower and degrade 

Pius IX. And His Time. 195 

the most Italian sovereignty of the whole peninsula? Why, more 
especially, do so now, in presence of all these unchained evil 
passions, and thereby give against the Holy See a sentence of 
incapacity, and thus, in the eyes of Christendom, insult that 
unarmed and oppressed Majesty? You say he will only lose the 
Romagna and the Legations. But allow me to ask you by what 
right you take them? And why not take all the rest, if you please? 
Why, in your dreams of Italian unity, should other Italian cities 
fare otherwise than Bologna and Ferrara? Why have you not 
made up your minds to take everything outside of Rome, with the 
garden of the Vatican? You have said this, you know. But why 
leave him, even in Rome? Why should not Dioclesian and the [196] 
catacombs be the best of all governments for the church? Where 
are you going? How far will your detestable principles lead you? 
At least, tell us clearly? Is this a clever calculation of yours? and, 
not daring to do more at present, or unable to do more, are you 
waiting for time and the violence of events to accomplish the 
rest? But who, think you, is to be deceived by you? Must we say, 
with the highest organ of the English press, that in the present 
business France is aggressive and insidious? I do not admit that 
our country is willing to play the part designed for her. Such 
calculations are not suited to French generosity. For my part, 
I protest, with my whole soul, against the perfidious intentions 
that we are supposed to entertain. But, in concluding, I must 
protest, still more solemnly, as a devoted son of the Holy Roman 
Church, the mother and teacher of all others — I protest against 
the revolutionary impiety which ignores her rights and would 
fain steal her patrimony. I protest, in the name of good sense 
and honor, indignant at beholding an Italian Sovereign Power 
become the accomplice of insurrection and revolt, and at the 
conspiracy of so many blind and unreasoning passions against 
the principles proclaimed and professed throughout the world 
by all great statesmen and politicians. I protest, in the name of 
common decency and European law, against this profanation of 

196 Pius IX. And His Time 

all that is most august, against the brutal passions which have 
inspired acts of inconceivable cowardice. And if I must speak 
out, I protest, in the name of good faith, against this restless 
and ill-disguised ambition, those evasive answers, that disloyal 
policy, of which we have the saddening spectacle before our 

These burning words of the eminent and patriotic French 
bishop must have pierced the soul of Napoleon III. To any 
other man, at least, an Orsini shell would have been less 
terrible. But, "Perversi difficillime corriguntur." No reproaches, 
however severe and well deserved, no remonstrance, however 
well founded, could move the French Emperor. A greater power 
[197] than that of words had impelled him towards the evil courses 

which the great majority of the French nation, together with the 
whole Catholic world, condemned. The bishops, meanwhile, 
continued to protest. The Archbishop of Sens, Mellon- Jolly, 
dared to say, in accents of sorrow: "Events, alas! are far beyond 
all that we feared." De Prilly, Bishop of Chalons, Dean of the 
French Episcopate, thus wrote a few days before his death: 
"Ah! who deserved less than Pius IX. to be attacked by so many 
enemies ! If the tears which he sheds are so bitter for himself, they 
are terrible to those who cause them! A poor bishop, at the point 
of death, so assures him and craves his benediction." The expiring 
prelate, one would say, had foreseen the humiliation of Sedan. 
The courageous language of the bishops was so much feared 
that it was thought necessary to silence them. Napoleon, having 
endeavored in vain to remove their disquietude by renewing 
his hollow protestations, denounced them as violent agitators, 
abandoned them to the jeers of the infidel press, for which alone 
there was liberty in those days, and finally forbade all journals 
whatsoever to publish episcopal writings that bore any relation to 
the Roman question. Thus did he think to escape the danger with 
which he was threatened by silencing the tongues which warned 

Pius IX. And His Time. 197 

The learned Cardinal Donnet, so celebrated as a theologian, 
now showed the abilities of a diplomatist. When Napoleon III. 
was at Bordeaux, on the 1 1th October, 1859, the cardinal, whose 
duty it was to compliment the Emperor as his sovereign, failed not 
at the same time to remonstrate against his tortuous policy. "We 
pray," said the pious cardinal, "we pray confidently, persistently, 
and with hope which neither deplorable events nor sacrilegious 
acts of violence extinguished. Our hopes, the realization of 
which appears to be so remote, are founded on yourself, sire, 
next to God. You were and you still desire to be the oldest 
son of the church, and it cannot be forgotten that you spoke the 
memorable words: 'The temporal sovereignty of the venerable 
head of the church is intimately connected with the lustre of 
Catholicism, as also with the liberty and independence of Italy.' [198] 
Grand idea! perfectly in harmony with that of the august Chief 
of your dynasty, who said in regard to the temporal power of 
the Popes: 'The centuries made it, and they did well. ' " The only 
reply of the all-powerful Emperor was a refusal to reply. "I cannot 
here," he said, "discuss all the weighty matters, the development 
of which would be required by the serious question to which 
you have alluded. So I confine myself to reminding you that the 
government which restored the Holy Father to his throne can only 
give him counsel inspired by sincere and respectful devotedness 
to his interests. But he is anxious, and not without cause, as 
to the time, which cannot be far distant, when our troops must 
evacuate Rome. For Europe cannot allow the occupation, which 
has already lasted ten years, to be prolonged for an indefinite 
period. But when our army shall be withdrawn, what will be 
left behind? These are questions of the importance of which 
none are ignorant. But, believe me, in order to solve them, we 
must, considering the age in which we live, avoid appealing to 
ardent passions, calmly seek truth, and pray Divine Providence 
to enlighten both peoples and kings, in order that they may 
wisely use their rights and fully discharge their duties." From 


Pius IX. And His Time 


A European 

Congress proposed 
for settling the 
affairs of Italy. 

these last words the Emperor appeared to have forgot that when 
there are duties to be fulfilled prayer alone will not suffice. His 
speech at the opening of the legislative session, 7th March, 1860, 
showed that either irresistible illusion or a foregone conclusion 
of complicity guided his Italian policy. He accused the Catholics 
of becoming excited without grounds, and of ingratitude towards 
him. The logic of events, so plain to all besides, was a dead 
letter to the imperial mind, blinded as it was by the habit of dark 

"I cannot pass unnoticed," said he, "the excitement of a 
portion of the Catholic world. It has accepted, without reflection, 
erroneous impressions, allowed itself to become passionately 
alarmed. The past which ought to have been a guarantee for the 
future has been so ignored, and services rendered so forgotten, 
that profound conviction, absolute confidence in the public good 
sense, was necessary for me, in order to preserve, amid the 
agitation which was industriously occasioned, that serenity of 
mind which alone maintains us in the way of truth." 

Meanwhile, a Congress for settling the difficulties of Italy 
was announced. This Congress was to be composed of all the 
great European Powers — of France, whose government had no 
good will; of Austria, which had not the power to cause the 
treaty of Zurich to be put in execution; of schismatical Russia; 
of Protestant Prussia, and of Protestant England, which favored 
revolution so long as it kept at a distance from its own doors. 
Pius IX. beheld in it many causes of disquietude. Nevertheless, 
he accepted the congress. The public were discussing, and 
not without impatience, the names of the presumed negotiators, 
when there appeared on the 22d of December, 1859, a new 
pamphlet which, like the former, was anonymous, and was 
ascribed as it also had been, to an author who was in too high a 
position to append his signature. Its title was, "The Pope and the 
Congress." It abounded in high sounding words, and was full of 
contradictions from beginning to end. It demonstrated, indeed, 

Pius IX. And His Time. 199 

that the temporal power of the Pope was an essential guarantee 
of his spiritual independence, but that this power could only be 
exercised within territorial limits of very small extent, which 
could not enable him to sustain himself, whilst, nevertheless, 
his dignity and the general interest forbade him to seek foreign 
intervention. The pamphlet concluded by insisting that the Pope 
ought to begin by giving up all claim to Romagna, and so prepare 
for ceding, a little later, the rest of his states, when he would 
be satisfied to hold the Vatican with a garden around it, and 
receive a magnificent salary provided by all the Catholic Powers. 
Hundreds of pamphlets and articles in the Catholic journals 
appeared in reply to this anonymous writing. They proved that 
the proposed arrangement would subject the Head of the Church [200] 
to the caprice of the Powers, and then enquired what security he 
would have against those who were his securities, especially at a 
time like the present, when the ancient law of nations, which was 
founded on respect for the weak and sworn faith, is suppressed 
by the revolution, and the reason of the strongest is the only 
one attended to; when the most solemn treaties are violated 
with impunity by those who have signed them, and as soon as 
they have signed them. The bishops raised their voice anew. 
They stated with sorrow that the pamphlet decided in favor of 
the revolution. But the boldest condemnation proceeded from 
Rome itself. The Popes, it is well known, hesitate not to use the 
proper terms when there is question of stigmatizing iniquity. No 
matter though they be at the mercy of those whom they brand, 
they define each error and each act of injustice with the same 
precision as in writing a theological thesis. Pius IX., who was 
mildness itself, more than once startles the delicate ear by the 
liberty of his language, so different from the minced and often 
ambiguous style of diplomacy. On the 30th of December, the 
official journal of Rome published the following note: "There 
appeared lately at Paris an anonymous pamphlet, entitled, 'The 
Pope and the Congress.' This pamphlet is nothing else than 

200 Pius IX. And His Time 

homage paid to the revolution — an insidious thesis addressed to 
those weak minds who have no sure criterium by which they 
can detect the poison which it holds concealed, and a subject of 
sorrow to all good Catholics. The arguments contained in this 
writing are only a reproduction of the errors and outrages so often 
hurled against the Holy See, and so often victoriously refuted. 
If it was the object of the author, perchance, to intimidate him 
whom he threatens with such great disasters, he can rest assured 
that he who has right on his side, who seeks no other support 
than the solid and immovable foundations of justice, and who is 
sustained especially by the protection of the King of kings, has 
[201] certainly nothing to fear from the snares of men." 

On 1st January, 1860, Pius IX., in his reply to the 
complimentary address of General Goyon, who commanded 
the French military at Rome, characterized the pamphlet as 
"a signal monument of hypocrisy, and an unworthy tissue 
of contradictions." The Holy Father further observed, before 
expressing his good wishes for the Emperor, the Empress, the 
Prince Imperial, and all France, that the principles enunciated 
in the pamphlet were condemned by several papers which his 
Imperial Majesty had some time before been so good as to send 
to him. A few days later the Moniteur published a letter of the 
Emperor to the Pope, dated 31st December, 1859, in which the 
former renews his hypocritical expressions of devotedness, but 
admits, at the same time, that "notwithstanding the presence of 
his troops at Rome, and his dutiful affection to the Holy See, he 
could not avoid a certain partnership in the effects of the national 
movement provoked in Italy by the war against Austria." In 
this same letter Napoleon III. reminds the Pontiff, that at the 
conclusion of the war he had recommended, as the best means 
of maintaining tranquillity, the secularization of his government, 
and he still believes that, "if, at that time, his Holiness had 
consented to an administrative separation of the Romagna, and 
the nomination of a lay governor, the provinces would have 

Pius IX. And His Time. 201 

come, once more, under his authority." What, then, could the 
people have meant when they petitioned, on occasion of the 
Pope's progress, to have a cardinal for governor, as formerly, 
and not lay prefects, as was then the case, under the regime 
inaugurated by Pius IX.? The Pope having neglected his advice, 
Napoleon, of course, was powerless to stay the tide of revolution. 
"My efforts were only successful in preventing the insurrection 
from spreading, and the resignation of Garibaldi preserved the 
marches of Ancona from certain invasion." No doubt it did. But, 
as will soon be seen, this modern crusader was let loose in order 
that he might follow his calling more vigorously, i.e., rob and 
slay on a more extensive scale. The Emperor now approaches 
the subjects of the Congress. In his letter he recognizes the 
indisputable right of the Holy See to the legations. But he does [202] 
not think it probable that the Powers would think it proper to 
have recourse to force, in order to restore them. If the restoration 
were effected by means of foreign troops, it would be necessary, 
for a long time, to hold military occupation of these provinces; 
and this would only feed the enmities and hatred of the Italian 
people. This state of uncertainty cannot always last. What then is 
to be done? The Imperial revolutionist concludes, expressing the 
most sincere regret, and the pain which such a solution gives him, 
that the way most in harmony with the interests of the Holy See 
is that it should sacrifice the revolted provinces. For the last fifty 
years they have only caused embarrassment to the government 
of the Holy Father. If he asked of the Powers to guarantee to 
him, in exchange for them, the possession of what remained, 
order, he had no doubt, would be immediately restored. This 
letter left no room to doubt that the policy of the pamphlet, "The 
Pope and the Congress" was that of Napoleon III. As soon as 
this was known the Congress became impossible. The Pope 
could not agree to deliberations based upon the principle of his 
dispossession. Austria could not be a party to combinations 
which removed the bases of the treaty of Zurich. This opinion 

202 Pius IX. And His Time 

was expressed by Count de Rechberg, first Minister of Austria, 
in a note of 17th February, 1860, and by Lord John Russell, in a 
despatch to Lord Cowley, the British Ambassador at Paris. "The 
pamphlets are important," said the latter statesman; "the result 
of the one entitled, ' The Pope and the Congress,'' is to prevent 
a Congress, and to cause the Pope to be deprived of one-half of 
his dominions." 

It was not without significance that M. Thouvenel was French 
Minister of Foreign Affairs from the 4th of January. Piedmont 
understood this fact. It caused its troops to cross the Romagnese 
frontier, whilst M. de Cavour, triumphant, affirmed, in the 
Piedmontese Senate, that the letter of Napoleon III., declaring 
that the temporal sovereignty was not sacred, was a fact as 
[203] important in the Italian question as the battle of Solferino. 

The Pope's reply to Napoleon's letter of 31st December is of 
some length. Elegant in expression, forcible in reasoning, it can 
only be briefly reviewed. "I am under the necessity of declaring 
to your majesty that I cannot cede the legations without violating 
the oaths by which I am bound, without causing misfortune and 
disturbance in the other provinces, without doing wrong and 
giving scandal to all Catholics, without weakening the rights of 
the sovereigns of Italy, unjustly despoiled of their dominions, 
but also the sovereigns of the whole Christian world, who could 
not see with indifference great principles trampled under foot." 
The Emperor had insisted that the cession of the legations by the 
Pope was necessary, in order to put an end to the disturbances, 
which, according to him, although he knew that such disturbances 
proceeded wholly from foreigners, had, for the last fifty years, 
caused embarrassment to the Pontifical government. "Who," 
said the Pope, "could count the revolutions that have occurred in 
France during the last seventy years? And yet, who would dare 
maintain that the great French nation is under the necessity, in 
order to secure the peace of Europe, to narrow the limits of the 
Empire? Your argument proves too much. So I must discard 

Pius IX. And His Time. 203 

it. Your majesty is not ignorant by what parties, with what 
money, and with what support, were committed the spoliations 
of Bologna, Ravenna, and other cities." 

The Imperial letter was communicated to all the newspapers. 
The reply of the Pope was carefully withheld from them. It only 
became known in France, some time later, through a German 
translation in the Austrian Gazette. Pius IX. was anxious, 
meantime, that the public should hear both sides of the question. 
He therefore brought to the knowledge of the Catholic world 
the principal points of his answer to Napoleon in the Encyclical, 
nullis certe verbis, of date 19th January, in which he declared 
that he was prepared to suffer the last extremities rather than 
betray the cause of the church and of justice. He also invited all 
the bishops to join with him in praying that God would arise and 
vindicate his cause. [204] 

The government having information that there was a copy 
of this document in the hands of the distinguished Catholic 
journalist, M. Louis Veuillot, the Minister of the Interior, 
M. Billaut, sent for this courageous writer, and gave him to 
understand that if he published the Encyclical it would be the 
death-warrant of his journal. But M. Veuillot was not to be 
intimidated. Next morning, 29th January, there appeared in 
his paper, I'Univers, the Latin text of the Pontifical document, 
together with a French translation. The same day, without trial 
or sentence, was signed a decree suppressing I'Univers. Yet 
was not this paper destined wholly to perish. Ten years later 
it reappeared, when the tyranny of Napoleon III. was crushed 
for ever at Sedan. Several other Catholic journals shared the 
fate of I'Univers, such as the Bretagne, of Saint Brieue, and the 
Gazette, of Lyons. The government of the Emperor thus showed 
by what spirit its counsels were guided. All the Catholic journals 
of France were already under the ban of two warnings, so that 
they had only a precarious existence, a third warning, according 
to the legislation of the time constituting their death-warrant. 

204 Pius IX. And His Time 

So early as 3rd December, 1859, whilst yet a Congress was 
believed to be possible, Pius IX. had written with his own hand 
to Victor Emmanuel, in order to remind him of his duties, and 
induce him to defend at the meeting of the Powers the rights of 
the Holy See. The latter had answered, 6th February, 1860, "that 
he certainly would not have failed in this duty if the Congress 
had met." For, "devoted son as he was of the church, and the 
descendant of a most pious family, it never was his intention to 
neglect his duties as a Catholic Prince." He protested, therefore, 
that he had done nothing to provoke the insurrection, and that 
when the war was ended he had renounced all interference in 
the legations. But he added, "it is an acknowledged fact, and 
which I have personally verified, that in those provinces which, 
lately, were so unmanageable and dissatisfied with the court 
of Rome, the ministers of worship are actually respected and 
[205] protected, and the temples of God more frequented than ever." 

Victor Emmanuel surely now thought that the Pope would never 
think of disturbing this happiness and self-satisfaction. "The 
interests of religion required it not." He even hoped that the 
Holy Father, not satisfied with refraining from a renewal of his 
claim on Romagna, would also hand over to him the marches 
and Umbria, in order that they might enjoy the same prosperity. 
And so he discoursed anew to Pius IX., about his "frank and 
loyal concurrence, his sincere and devoted heart," and ended by 
craving the Holy Father's apostolic blessing. 

The King of Piedmont must have been sadly blinded by 
revolutionary teachings not to see — if, indeed, he did not 
see — that such professions of loyalty and devotedness were 
positively derisive. Pius IX. so viewed them, and gave the 
intriguing monarch to understand that he did so. The moderation 
of his language is but slightly indicative of the sorrow and 
indignation which he must have experienced. "The idea which 
your majesty has thought fit to lay before me is highly imprudent, 
unworthy, most assuredly, of a king who is a Catholic and a 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


member of the house of Savoy. You may read my reply in an 
Encyclical which will soon appear. I am deeply affected, not on 
my own account, but by the deplorable state of your majesty's 
soul. You are already under the ban of censures, which, alas! 
will be aggravated when the sacrilegious act which you and 
your accomplices are meditating shall have been consummated. 
May the Lord enlighten you and give you grace to understand 
and to bewail the scandals which have occurred, and the fearful 
evils with which unfortunate Italy has been visited through your 

About this time diplomatists discovered the convenient 
political doctrine of non-intervention. It was, like most 
diplomatic devices, a fallacy. But it served its purpose. The 
Catholic Powers, however friendly to the Holy See, were unable 
to intervene. The greatest of them all, Austria, was put hors 
de combat at Solferino. Prussia had intervened, as far as its 
policy required, when it forbade further hostilities after the great 
battle which made France the mistress of the destinies of Italy. 
England, which, as a Protestant Power, had no great friendship 
for the Holy See, found it suitable to preach non-intervention, as 
an excuse for not being able or for not daring to aid her ancient 
and faithful ally, the Pope, in opposition to her new friend, the 
Emperor of the French. England, at least, was consistent, for, 
while she proclaimed and practised non-intervention in favor 
of the French Emperor's subversive intervention in Italy, she 
adhered most devoutly to the doctrine when there was question, 
a little later, of aiding France against the crushing power of 

Whilst the European Powers lay dormant under the spell of 
the new doctrine of non-intervention, the King of Piedmont 
vigorously pursued his career of spoliation. Having accepted a 
sham plebiscitum, he annexed, by a formal decree of 1 8th March, 
the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the Duchies of Parma and Modena, 
and that portion of the Papal States known as the Legations, to 

doctrine of 



Tuscany, Parma, 
Modena and 

the Legations 

finally annexed to 
Piedmont. Price of 
the spoil. 

206 Pius IX. And His Time 

his ancient kingdom of Sardinia and Piedmont. This was done 
with the full consent of his Imperial patron, Napoleon III. For, 
at this time, Victor Emmanuel ceded to France, as compensation 
for Central Italy, Nice and Savoy. This boded ill for France. 
Some French writers consider that this transaction would have 
been less disgraceful if these provinces had been exchanged for 
Lombardy, which had been won from Austria with French blood 
and treasure. But, as evil destiny, which was hastening to its 
accomplishment, would have it, they were given as payment 
for the spoils of the widow and orphan of Parma and the aged 
man of the Vatican. Thus for once was non-intervention dearly 

The usurping monarch having now accomplished a long- 
cherished purpose, ought, one would suppose, to have obeyed 
the dictates of prudence, and held his peace. But no. He 
must write to the Pope, in order to justify his nefarious 
[207] proceeding. Piedmontese bayonets and four millions of 

Piedmontese gold had won for him the plebiscitum of which 
he was so proud. Nevertheless, he declared, addressing the 
Holy Father, that, "as a Catholic Prince, he believed he was 
not wanting to the unchangeable principles of the religion which 
it was his glory to profess with unalterable devotedness and 
fidelity." Notwithstanding, "for the sake of peace, he offered to 
acknowledge the Pope as his Suzerain, would always diminish his 
charges and contribute towards his independence and security." 
He ended his letter by most humbly soliciting, once more, the 
apostolic benediction. There is more plain speaking in the 
reply of Pius IX. than could have been to the liking of the Re 
galantuomo. "I could say that the pretended universal suffrage 
was imposed, not voluntary. I could say that the Pontifical troops 
were hindered by other troops, and you know well what troops, 
from restoring the legitimate government in the provinces." The 
Holy Father then bewails the increasing immorality occasioned 
by the usurping government and the insults constantly offered 

Pius IX. And His Time. 207 

to the ministers of religion. Even if he were not bound by 
solemn oaths to preserve intact the patrimony of the church, he 
would, nevertheless, be obliged to repel everything that tended 
in this direction, lest his conscience should be stained by even an 
indirect sanctioning of, and participating in, such disorders, and 
justifying, by concurrence, unjust and violent spoliation. The 
Pope concludes by saying, emphatically, that he cannot extend 
a friendly welcome to the projects of his majesty, but that, on 
the contrary, he protests against the usurpation, and leaves on 
the conscience of his majesty and all who co-operate with him 
in such iniquity the fatal consequences which flow therefrom. 
Finally, he hopes that the king, in reperusing his own letter, will 
find grounds for repentance. The Pope, far from being actuated 
by feelings of resentment, prays God to give his majesty the grace 
he stands so much in need of in such difficult circumstances. The 
letter is dated at the Vatican, 2nd April, 1860. [208] 

It is related that Victor Emmanuel bedewed with tears this 
letter, which so gently and tenderly rebuked him. It must have 
reached him at one of those moments of remorse which, more 
than once, interrupted his scandalous career. It hindered him 
not, however, from fulfilling the promise which he had given 
to the revolution, when, at the beginning of the war of 1859, 
placing his hand on his sword and looking towards Rome, he 
said: "Andremo alfondo" ("we shall go on to the end"). 

On the 26th of March of the same year, Pius IX. issued a 
Bull, excommunicating all who took part in wrenching from 
him so great a portion of the patrimony of the church. Some 
parties received the intimation of this sentence with such noisy 
demonstrations of delight as to cause their sincerity to be doubted. 
Others, and of the number was King Victor Emmanuel, were 
struck with indescribable fear. Napoleon III. insisted that the 
organic article of the Concordat, forbidding the publication in 
France of Bulls, Briefs, &c, should be enforced. But he could 
not, any more than his uncle, forbid the excommunication to 


Pius IX. And His Time 






take effect. The first Napoleon was at the height of his greatness 
when struck with excommunication. He received the sentence 
with jeers. Would it make the arms fall from the hands of his 
soldiers? How literally this question was answered, let the snows 
of Russia tell. There are other ministers of the wrath of heaven 
besides the frosts of a Northern winter. Napoleon III. was in the 
zenith of his power when he heard the sentence which he vainly 
tried to stifle. His great political wisdom, and the wonderful 
success of all he undertook had hitherto astonished the world. 
There was now a manifest change. But it need not here be said 
with what unspeakable humiliation his star went down. 

The revolutionary party could not have more effectually shown 
their dread of the Papal sentence, than by their endeavors to 
suppress it. They went so far as to publish in its place a forged 
document, as odious as it was extravagant, appended there to the 
signature of Pius IX., and exposed it to the jeers of the ignorant 
multitude. The bishops did their best in order to make known the 
truth; with what difficulty it will be easily understood, when it is 
remembered that an Imperial decree forbade the newspapers to 
publish a word in their interest. 

Had there been question only of forming a united Italy, and 
of introducing such reforms as the time demanded into the 
States of the Church, and those of the Italian grand dukes, 
such a cause would have had no better friends and supporters 
than the Pope and the native princes. But the revolutionary 
party aimed at more than this, and they hastened to show their 
hand as soon as they obtained any power. As has been seen, 
the Holy Father himself complained bitterly of the increase 
of irreligion and immorality under their ill-omened auspices 
in Romagna. It was not their policy to reconstitute, but to 
subvert. No existing institution, however excellent, was sacred 
in their eyes. Thus speak the archbishops and bishops of 
the Marches in a remonstrance addressed to the Piedmontese 
Governor on 21st November, 1860: "We scarcely believe our 

Pius IX. And His Time. 209 

own eyes, or the testimony of our own ears, when we see and 
hear the excesses, the abominations, the disorders witnessed 
in the chief cities of our respective dioceses, to the shame 
and horror of the beholders, to the great detriment of religion, 
of decency and public morality, since the ordinances against 
which we protest deprive us of all power to protect religion and 
morality, or to repress the prevailing crimes and licentiousness. 
The public sale, at nominal prices, of mutilated translations 
of the Bible, of pamphlets of every description, saturated with 
poisonous errors or infamous obscenities, is permitted in the 
cities which, a few months ago, had never heard the names 
of these scandalous productions; the impunity with which the 
most horrible blasphemies are uttered in public, and the worse 
utterance of expressions and sentiments that breathe a hellish 
wickedness; the exposition, the public sale and the diffusion 
of statuettes, pictures and engravings, which brutally outrage [210] 
piety, purity, the commonest decency; the representation in our 
theatres of pieces and scenes in which are turned into ridicule the 
Church — Christ's immaculate spouse — the Vicar of Christ, the 
ministers of religion, and everything held dear to piety and faith; 
in fine, the fearful licentiousness of public manners, the odious 
devices resorted to for perverting the innocent and the young, the 
evident wish and aim to make immorality, obscenity, uncleanness 
triumph among all classes; such are, your Excellency, the rapid 
and faint outlines of the scandalous state of things created in 
the Marches by the legislation and discipline so precipitately 
introduced by the Piedmontese government. We appeal to your 
Excellency. Could we remain silent and indifferent spectators of 
this immense calamity without violating our most sacred duty?" 
If anything under the government of subversion has saved Italy 
from utter ruin, it is nothing less than the zeal and devotedness 
of its pastors. In the remonstrance referred to, they declare that 
notwithstanding all the contradictions, the trials, the obstacles 
they have had to encounter, "not one spark of charity, of zeal, of 


Pius IX. And His Time 



reforms in Sicily, 
Naples, Lombardy, 
Modena, the 

Pontifical States, 

pastoral and fatherly solicitude has been quenched in our souls. 
We solemnly affirm it, with our anointed hands on our hearts, 
and with the help of God's grace, these sentiments shall never 
depart from us through fault of ours." 

This mode of reforming, so dear to the revolutionists, is further 
illustrated by the proceedings of Garibaldi in Sicily and at Naples. 
It will be remembered that this hero of the revolution was eclipsed 
for a time by the splendors of Solferino. Immediately after that 
battle he retired into private life, and the motley troop which he 
commanded disappeared. Whilst, however, there remained any 
revolutionary work to be done, such a man could not be idle. The 
kingdom of the Two Sicilies was, as yet, unshaken. This was 
too much for Count de Cavour, and so he encouraged the ever- 
willing Garibaldi to fit out an armament against that kingdom. 
The hero sailed for Sicily, and there, assured of non-intervention 
by the presence of the flags of France, England and Sardinia, he 
made an easy conquest of the defenceless island. As soon as he 
got possession of Palermo, and had assumed the title and powers 
of dictator, he commenced, like a true revolutionist, the work of 
subversion. Garibaldi, no doubt, was a man of the age, and the 
great diplomatic discovery which the age had fallen upon was 
never wanting to him. It served him at Naples as it had done in 
Sicily; and so, a mere diplomatic idea — non-intervention — drove 
the king to Gaeta, and established the power of the revolutionist. 

As soon as Garibaldi was master in Sicily, the work of 
revolutionary reform commenced. It was always the first aim of 
the revolutionists to strike at civilization and civilizing influences. 
Churches were desecrated, the ministers of religion insulted, 
religious orders suppressed. "The Society of Jesus alone," said 
the venerable superior, Father Beckx, in his solemn protestation 
of 24th October, 1860, to the King of Sardinia, "was robbed of 
three residences and colleges in Lombardy; of six in the Duchy 
of Modena; of eleven in the Pontifical States; nineteen in the 
kingdom of Naples; and fifteen in Sicily." "Everywhere," adds 

Pius IX. And His Time. 2 1 1 

Father Beckx, "the Society has been literally stripped of all its 
property, movable and immovable. Its members, to the number 
of 1,500, were driven forth from their houses and the cities. They 
were led by an armed force, like so many malefactors, from 
province to province, cast into the public prisons, ill-treated and 
outraged in the most horrible manner. They were even prevented 
from finding a refuge in pious families, while in several places 
no consideration was had for the extreme old age of many among 
them, nor for the infirmity and weakness of others. 

"All these acts were perpetrated against men who were not 
accused of one illegal or criminal act, without any judicial 
process, without allowing any justification to be recorded. In 
one word, all this was consummated in the most despotic and [212] 
savage manner. If such acts had been accomplished in a popular 
riot, by men blinded by passion, we might perhaps bear them 
in silence. But, as all such acts have been done in the name of 
the Sardinian laws; as the provisional governments established 
in Modena and the Pontifical States, as well as the dictator of 
Sicily himself, have claimed to be supported by the Sardinian 
government; and as your majesty's name is still invoked to 
sanction these iniquitous measures, I can no longer remain a 
silent spectator of such enormous injustice, but in my quality 
of supreme head of the order, I feel myself strictly bound to 
ask for justice and satisfaction, and to protest before God and 
man, lest the resignation inspired by religious meekness and 
forbearance should appear to be a weakness which might be 
construed into an acknowledgment of guilt, or a relinquishment 
of our rights. I protest solemnly, and in the best form I can think 
of, against the suppression of our houses and colleges, against the 
proscriptions, banishments and imprisonments, against the acts 
of violence and outrage committed against the brethren bound to 
me by religious ties. I protest before all Catholics, in the name of 
the rights of the church sacrilegiously violated. I protest, in the 
name of the benefactors and founders of our houses and colleges, 

212 Pius IX. And His Time 

whose will and expressed intentions in founding these good 
works, for the interest alike of the living and the dead, are thus 
nullified. I protest, in the name of the sacred rights of property, 
contemned and trampled under foot by brutal force. I protest, 
in the name of citizenship and the inviolability of individual 
persons, of whose rights no man may be deprived without being 
accused in form, arraigned and judged. I protest, in the name of 
humanity, whose rights have been so shamefully outraged in the 
persons of so many aged men, sick, infirm and helpless, driven 
from their peaceful seclusion, left without any assistance, cast 
on the highways without any means of subsistence." Such was 
the revolution which Victor Emmanuel and Napoleon III. were 
driven by fear, or even worse motives, to patronize and foster. 
[213] It had, in the days of its power, made France a desolation. It 

was now sweeping like devouring flames over Italy, and fast 
approaching the city of the Popes. 
Revival of Peter's Pius IX., although not unaware of the fearful calamities with 
pence - which he was threatened, was far from allowing his mind to be 

shaken. He trusted in that Providence which watches over the 
church. "We are as yet," said he on 16th February, 1860, to the 
lenten preachers of the time, "at the beginning of the evils which 
must soon overtake us. At the same time, we are consoled by the 
cheering prospect that, as calamity succeeds calamity, the spirit 
of faith and of sacrifice will be proportionately developed." 

There was nothing now to be hoped for from the powers which 
nominally ruled the world, but which were, in reality, under the 
control of the revolution. Deprived of so great a portion of his 
states, and the revenue which accrued to him therefrom, the Holy 
Father resolved to sustain his failing finances by relying on the 
spontaneous offerings of the faithful throughout the world. His 
appeal was not made in vain. The piety and zeal of the early 
ages appeared to have revived. The word of the common Father 
was received with reverence in the remotest lands. Offerings 
of "Peter's pence," as in days of apostolic fervor, were poured 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


into the Papal treasury. In Europe, especially, the movement 
was so general as to show that the people everywhere were 
resolved to act independently of their governments, which had 
so shamefully become subservient to the will of the revolution. 
It was scarcely necessary that the bishops should speak a word 
of encouragement. In France, indeed, under a jealous and 
revolutionary government, there could be no associations for the 
collection of Peter's pence. But the government could not, so far, 
place itself in opposition to the religion of the country as to forbid 
collections in the churches; nor could it reach such subscriptions 
as were offered in private dwellings. In Belgium, although the 
party of unbelief, of Freemasonry and revolution, held the reins 
of power, the constitution protected all citizens alike, and so the 
new work which the circumstances of the church required was 
accomplished by association, pretty much in the same way as the 
work of the propagation of the faith. By the end of three months, 
there were in Flanders no fewer than four hundred thousand 
associates for the collection of Peter's pence. In Italy, a Catholic 
journal, Armonia, collected considerable sums of money, and 
caskets filled with jewels and other precious objects. Poland, in 
her sorrow, was magnificently generous. And Ireland, renewing 
her strength after centuries of misgovernment, persecution and 
poverty, emulated the richest countries, America, Germany, 
Holland and England. One of the collections at Dublin amounted 
to £10,000. All these rich donations, together with thousands of 
addresses which bore millions of signatures, were humbly laid at 
the feet of the Holy Father. 

Now that it is well known that France was not less hostile than 
Sardinia and the revolution, to the cause of the Pope, it appears 
more a loss of labor than a wise precaution, that the Holy Father 
should have assembled an army for maintaining order in his 
states, and repelling any attack on the part of the revolutionary 
faction. This was all that he contemplated. Deceived by the 
professions of his French ally, he was far from suspecting that 


The Pope forms an 
army. — Lamoriciere 

214 Pius IX. And His Time 

the small force which he was collecting for the maintenance of 
order would be no sooner organized than it would be attacked 
by the military power of Piedmont, supported by the Emperor of 
the French. On the contrary, Pius IX. had every reason to believe 
that the formation of a Pontifical army, destined for the duties 
which devolved on the French soldiers, then at Rome, would be 
acceptable to Napoleon III. The latter had, more than once, said 
to his Holiness: "Place yourself in a position to be independent of 
my army of occupation." This recommendation is repeated in a 
despatch of Messrs. Thouvenel and Gramont, so late as the 14th 
of April, 1860. As soon as it was known that the Pope desired to 
[215] have an army for maintaining internal peace, and finally, in order 

to replace the foreign troops which occupied Rome, the youth of 
many countries freely offered their services. France, Belgium, 
Ireland, Spain, Holland, and even distant Canada sent numerous 
volunteers. The noble youth of France, whose education, for 
the most part, was eminently Christian, were only too happy to 
tear themselves from the luxurious life of Paris. Their joy was 
equal to their ardor, when they found that they could bear arms 
without serving a Bonaparte. Gontants and Larochefoucauld 
Doudeauvilles, Noes and Pimodans, Tournous and Bourbon 
Chalus, came to range themselves, as private soldiers, when 
necessary, under the banner of the Pope. Nor were they attracted 
by any hope of gain. A goodly number, on the contrary, sustained 
by their ample means the government to which they offered their 
lives. The revolution signified its displeasure by branding these 
devoted youths with the ignominious title of "Mercenaries of 
the Pope." This ungracious word proceeded from the palace of 
Jerome Napoleon, on whom merciless history bestows a more 
opprobrious epithet. As a matter of course, it was repeated in all 
the revolutionary journals. 

The command of the new force was offered to the brave 
and experienced General Lamoriciere. At first he hesitated, the 
cause of the Pope, as regarded his temporal power, was already 

Pius IX. And His Time. 2 1 5 

so much compromised. Finally, on the representation of the 
Reverend Count de Merode, he gave his consent. It was pure 
sacrifice. No success could add to his military renown. And 
success was impossible. The general distributed his soldiers, 
from 20,000 to 25,000 in number, in small bodies, throughout 
the towns of that portion of the Papal States which still remained. 
This was a judicious arrangement, as far as internal peace and 
order were concerned. Neither Lamoriciere nor the Pope had 
any idea, so firmly did they rely on the hollow professions of 
France, that a foreign army would have to be met. The general 
spoke words of encouragement to his willing soldiers. "The 
revolution," said he, in an order of the day, "like Islamism of [216] 
old, threatens Europe. To-day, as in ancient times, the cause 
of the Papacy is the cause of civilization and of the liberty of 
mankind." The infidel press was excited to fury, and showed, by 
the violence of its writing, that the comparison of the revolution 
to Islamism was but too well founded. Were not both alike 
ferocious? Did not both spread terror and desolation in their 
track? Weigh them together — Islamism has the advantage. In 
addition to all its other barbarities, the revolution violated the 
temples of God and the abodes of prayer. The followers of the 
prophet were commanded to respect every place where God was 
worshipped, and every house where dwelt the ministers of His 

The organization of Lamoriciere's army was now so complete 
that a friendly convention was entered into with the Cabinet of 
the Tuilleries, and that the evacuation of Rome by the French 
garrison should commence on the 1 1th of May. 

This was not at all to the liking of the revolutionists. M. 
de Cavour, who had complained so loudly at the Congress of 
Paris that the Pope had not an army sufficiently strong to render 
unnecessary the protection of France and Austria, protested 
against the formation of such an army as soon as he saw that it 
was seriously contemplated. He denounced it to all Europe as 

216 Pius IX. And His Time 

a gathering of adventurers from every country, and feigned the 
greatest disquietude for the new frontiers of Piedmont. 

On the 4th September, 1860, Napoleon III. was at Chambery, 
receiving the homage and congratulations of his Savoyard 
subjects. A public banquet was held in his honor, and whilst 
the guests were yet at table, two Piedmontese envoys, Messrs. 
Farini and Cialdini, sought a private interview with the Emperor. 
Napoleon left the festive board and remained closeted with 
the envoys the remainder of the evening. The result of this 
conference was the immediate invasion of the Papal States by 
Sardinian troops, under the command of General Cialdini. This 
officer reports that he was fully authorized by Napoleon. It 
[217] is even related that the Emperor, strongly encouraging him 

used the words of our blessed Lord to Judas: "Quod facis, fac 
citius." Napoleon, indeed, denied having uttered these words. It 
matters not. All his acts, at the time, expressed their meaning. 
Whilst conferring with the envoys at Chambery, there lay on a 
table a map of Central Italy, on which he traced in pencil and 
effaced several lines. The map having been left on the table, 
was afterwards found to contain one line in crayon, which was 
not effaced. It showed exactly the route which Cialdini followed 
in marching to the destruction of the Papal army. Between 
the conference of Chambery and the arrival of Cialdini on the 
Pontifical territory, there elapsed precisely the time necessary 
for the journey by post-carriage and railway. Seventy thousand 
men were waiting for him on the frontier, ready to march as 
soon as he brought them the required authorization. General 
Fanti, who also had an army corps concentrated on the borders 
of the Marches, had already intimated to General Lamoriciere, 
that if the Papal troops had recourse to force, "in order to 
suppress any insurrection in the Papal State," he would, at once, 
occupy the Marches and Umbria, "in order to secure to the 
inhabitants full liberty to express their wishes." The Sardinian 
generals evidently wished to raise an insurrection, but as no 

Pius IX. And His Time. 2 1 7 

insurrection occurred, they managed to do without one. In the 
meantime, it was thought expedient to perform a piece of mock 
diplomacy. Count Delia Minerva was despatched from Turin 
to Rome, charged with an ultimatum to the Pope. Without 
diplomatic negotiations or shadow of pretext, purely by virtue of 
the right of the strongest and most audacious, the Holy Father 
was suddenly summoned to dismiss his volunteers as foreigners, 
and was allowed four-and-twenty hours to give his answer. But 
the party did not wait so long. The ultimatum, of a piece with their 
other proceedings, was a mockery. On 10th September, before 
the reply of the Pope could have been known, even before Delia 
Minerva had reached Rome, Generals Cialdini and Fanti, without 
any previous declaration of war, passed the Pontifical frontier. It 
was the barbarians once more at the gates of Rome. The orders of [218] 
the day, which the Piedmontese commanders addressed to their 
troops, were inexpressibly savage. Pitiless history fails not to 
record them. "Soldiers," said Cialdini, "I lead you against a band 
of adventurers, whom the thirst for gold and pillage has brought 
to our country. Fight, disperse without mercy, these wretched 
cut-throats. Let them feel, by the weight of our arm, the power 
and the anger of a people who strive to be independent soldiers. 
Perugia seeks vengeance. And, although late, it shall have it." 
The language of King Victor Emmanuel, although somewhat 
more politely diplomatic, was not less false and savage. His 
proclamation is a master-piece of Count de Cavour's hypocritical 
style. "Soldiers, you are entering the Marches and Umbria, in 
order to restore civil order in the desolated cities and to secure 
to the inhabitants the liberty to express their wishes. You have 
not to meet powerful armies, but only to deliver the unfortunate 
Italian provinces from companies of foreign adventurers. You 
are not going to avenge the injuries done to Italy or to me, but 
to hinder the popular hatred from wreaking vengeance on the 
oppressor. You will teach by your example pardon of offences 
and Christian toleration to those who compare Italian patriotism 


Pius IX. And His Time 


to Islamism. At peace with all the Great Powers, and without 
provocation, I mean to banish from Central Italy a constant cause 
of trouble and discord. I wish to respect the seat of the Chief of 
the Church, &c." Whatever this king may have wished to do, he 
was compelled to obey the will of the revolution, and to justify 
by his acts the comparison of the party which he patronized with 
Islamism, — a comparison disparaging only to the followers of 
the prophet. The ferocious sentiments to which Cialdini gave 
utterance were not mere bravado. When Colonel Zappi, of the 
Pontifical service, dared to hold out with 800 men at Pesaro, and 
check for two-and-twenty hours the whole Piedmontese army 
before this village, Cialdini, instead of admiring such bravery, 
refused to cease firing, when Zappi, crushed by numbers, was at 
last obliged to capitulate. For two hours longer he took pleasure 
in discharging grape shot at the little town which had ceased 
to reply otherwise than by exhibiting a white flag and sending 
messengers of peace. Nor did this vandalic soldier show any 
consideration for the wishes of the people whom he professed to 
have come to protect. This contempt for the popular will was 
sufficiently well shown the following month, in his despatch to 
the Garibaldian Commander of Molise: "Publish that I cause to 
be shot all peasants taken with arms in their hands. I have this 
day commenced such executions." 

Lamoriciere was far from expecting to be attacked by the 
armies of Piedmont. The most he could contemplate was an 
attack by the Garibaldians, and the probability of some partial 
insurrections in the interior. He distributed his troops accordingly 
force cut to pieces In the towns and along the Neapolitan frontier. The insolent 
message of General Fanti contributed to confirm him in this idea. 
He had only 1,500 men with him when the message reached 
him. He held himself in readiness, but without concentrating 
his force, which appeared to him dangerous and premature. He 
learned, unexpectedly, that the frontier on the side of Piedmont 
was violated at every point of attack at the same time; that an 

Duplicity of 

the French 

Government. — The 
Emperor of Austria 
restrained by his 

by the Piedmontese 
at Castelfidaro. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 2 1 9 

army corps, commanded by General de Sonnaz, was marching 
on Perugia; another, led by Brignone, on Spoleto; another, under 
the Garibaldian Mazi, on Orvieto; finally, that Cialdini was 
advancing on Sinigaglia, thence on Torrede Jesi, Castelfidardo 
and Loretto, and that his object was Ancona, the only city except 
Rome which was capable of making any resistance. Lamoriciere, 
unable to face so many enemies at once, saw, with pain, that his 
scattered garrisons were lost. He was far, however, from being 
discouraged. Recalling, hastily, all that were within reach, and 
unfortunately they were not the most considerable, he changed 
all the arrangements which he had made for another kind of 
contest; he gave up all idea of opposing Brignone, De Sonnaz 
and Fanti, who, nevertheless, were in a position to cut off his [220] 
retreat towards Rome, and rushed boldly to the point of greatest 
danger between these generals and Cialdini, with the design 
of piercing the lines of the latter and reaching Ancona before 
him. There he thought he would be able to hold out a week or 
two, more than sufficient time for France and the other civilized 
nations to come to his assistance. He, a French general, relied 
on France, so completely were Frenchmen deceived. He also 
trusted, and with better grounds, to Austria. This confidence 
emboldened him to reply defiantly to the insolent message of 
General Fanti: "We are only a handful of men. But a Frenchman 
counts not his enemies, and France will support us." 

Before the invasion took place, the Ambassador of France, the 
Duke of Gramont, whose word was corroborated by the presence 
of a French army at Rome and in the neighborhood, had, several 
times, reassured Cardinal Antonelli, who was much disquieted, 
affirming that the concentration of Piedmontese troops was 
intended to check the banditti, and protect the Pontifical frontier, 
but would not attack it. Lamoriciere testifies to this fact in the 
report of his operations. When there was no longer any doubt 
as regarded the violation of Papal territory, the Ambassador, 
Gramont, communicated to Cardinal Antonelli, and telegraphed, 

220 Pius IX. And His Time 

in clear and distinct language, to the Vice-Consul of France, 
at Ancona, the following despatch: "The Emperor has written 
from Marseilles to the King of Sardinia, that if the Piedmontese 
troops advance on the Pontifical territory he will be compelled 
to oppose them. Orders are already given for the embarkation of 
troops at Toulon; and these re-inforcements will forthwith arrive. 
The government of the Emperor will not tolerate the criminal 
attack of the Sardinians. As Vice-Consul of France, you will 
govern yourself accordingly." M. de Courcy, the Vice-Consul, to 
whom the despatch was addressed, took it immediately to M. de 
Quatrebarbes, the civil governor of Ancona. His great age would 
not admit of his carrying it in person to Cialdini, but he lost no 
[221] time in sending it by an employee of the Consulate, making no 

doubt that a despatch which bore the signature of France would 
prevent bloodshed. He was mistaken. Cialdini read the paper, 
and coolly put it in his pocket, saying: "I know more about these 
matters than you. I have just had an interview with the Emperor." 
When the clerk asked for a receipt, he signed one, remarking that 
"it would make a good addition to other diplomatic papers." He 
then continued to advance. The general was no less explicit, a 
few days later, at Loretto, when conversing with Count Bourbon 
Busset and other prisoners taken at Castelfidardo. "You astonish 
me, gentlemen," said he; "how could you for a moment entertain 
the idea that we would have occupied the Pontifical State without 
the full consent of the government of your country!" As one of 
the bystanders, in reply to Cialdini, alluded to the fact which 
was announced, of the disembarkation of a new French division 
at Civita Vecchia, "And to what purpose?" answered one of 
the higher officers of Cialdini's staff. "France has no need to 
re-inforce her army of occupation. See these wires, gentlemen 
(pointing to the telegraph), if they chose to speak they would 
suffice to stop us at once." It would have been impossible to 
express more plainly the omnipotence at that moment of the 
conqueror of Solferino, and the fearful stigma which he was 

Pius IX. And His Time. 221 

preparing for his memory. Not only did he disorganize the 
defence, the responsibility, &c., of which he was understood to 
have assumed, not only did he deceive the Court of Rome, and 
inspire it with a false security, as if it had been his purpose more 
surely to throw Lamoriciere into the snares of Cialdini; but, at 
the same time, he paralyzed the good intention of the Powers that 
were sincerely devoted to the Holy See. 

Francis Joseph, Emperor of Austria, had dreaded, a month 
before it occurred, an invasion of the Pontifical State. His 
army divisions of the Mincio were on a war footing. It was 
only necessary that they should pass the river and march 
against Piedmont. An order to this effect was signed. But 
before despatching the order, and taking on himself such great 
responsibility, the youthful Emperor, who had been none the [222] 
better for giving way to his chivalrous impulses in 1859, resolved 
to call a meeting of his ministers and chief generals. Addressing 
this grave assembly, he stated distinctly the new situation in 
which Austria was placed by the violation of recent treaties, and 
the obligation under which he lay of opposing such proceedings 
by arms. His duty as a Catholic was concerned as well as his 
honor and interest as a sovereign. It appeared, besides, that 
God had blinded the revolution, and the invasion was so odious 
that Piedmont would not find a single ally. "I have signed," he 
added, "an order to pass to-morrow into Lombardy. Together 
with this, I have addressed a manifesto to Europe, in which I 
declare that I will respect and cause to be respected the treaty 
of Zurich. Lombardy does not now belong to me. I have ceded 
it, and I do not recall my word; but I require that the clauses 
which are burdensome to Austria shall not alone be executed. I 
claim, at the same time, the incontestible rights of my cousins 
of Florence, Parma and Modena, so unworthily robbed by one 
of those who signed and guaranteed the treaty. Finally, I require 
that the neutrality of the Pope and the integrity of his territory be 
respected; for the Pope is my ally, as a sovereign, and as the Chief 

222 Pius IX. And His Time 

of the Church, my Father. The fleet of Trieste will, at the same 
time, cruise before Ancona." This noble address was followed by 
profound silence. The attitude of several of the bystanders was 
expressive of doubt when the Emperor affirmed that the brutality 
of the Piedmontese aggression would alone suffice to prevent 
any one from making common cause with it. The Count de Thun 
at length rose. He acknowledged the manifestly just grievances 
of Austria, and admired the manly resolution of the Emperor. 
He then set forth the dangers of every kind which this resolution 
would cause to arise. The army had not yet repaired its losses; 
the wounds of Magenta and Solferino were still bleeding. The 
French would, once more, pass the Alps, and the revolution, far 
[223] from being stifled, would be more threatening than ever. 

"If my crown must be broken," interposed the Emperor, "I 
prefer losing it at the gates of the Vatican, in defence of justice and 
religion, than under the walls of Vienna or Presburgh by the hands 
of the revolutionists." "Sire," replied Count de Thun, "whether 
at Presburgh or the Vatican, you will always find us by your side, 
ready to conquer or perish honorably with you. But allow me to 
repeat that there is not question only of commencing a struggle 
against the two-fold revolution of the King of Sardinia. If France 
once more comes to his support, who will be our auxiliaries? 
What alliances have we, so necessary in case of reverse? Our 
cruel experience of last year only shows too plainly that we 
have none; and that Prussia has an understanding with France. 
And if the war continues any time, if the revolution throws 
into the arms of Russia Hungary, and our Sclav provinces, and 
gives to Prussia our German countries, what will become of the 
great Catholic Empire of Germany? Will not your majesty have 
hastened, without intending it, the satisfaction of that cupidity 
which is everywhere aiming at our ruin, and the triumph either 
of Protestantism or the Greek schism?" Francis Joseph replied 
by describing the not less serious dangers which the triumph 
of the Italian revolution would occasion to the tranquillity and 

Pius IX. And His Time. 223 

integrity of the Empire. He could not but foresee how precarious 
Austrian rule would become at Venice, and how impossible it 
would be to preserve, for any length of time, the last remains of 
the Pontifical State, once the King of Piedmont was master of the 
rest of the peninsula. The struggle, by being delayed, could not 
be avoided. We should only have to undertake it later against a 
usurper consolidated by time, and with less manifest evidence of 
right on our side. But the embarrassments of the moment engaged 
the thoughts of his ministers more than those of the future. All 
the ministers dissenting from his opinion, the Emperor made up 
his mind, after two hours' discussion, to recall the order which 
he had signed. The Austrian fleet continued at anchor in the 
harbor of Trieste, and the army of the Mincio remained inactive, 
although, as may be supposed, indignant, in its quadrilateral, [224] 
until Italian unity became a reality, and coalesced with Prussia 
in order to expel it. 

There must now be recorded another proof of the Emperor 
Napoleon's double dealing. On 13th September, M. Thouvenel 
wrote to Baron de Talleyrand, the Ambassador of France at 
Turin: "The Emperor has decided that you must leave Turin 
immediately, in order to show his firm determination to decline 
all partnership in acts which his counsels, that were given in the 
interests of Italy, have not been able to prevent." Vain pretence! 
inexorable history accepts not such apologies. 

With the exception of the Piedmontese, and perhaps also the 
Austrian ministers, there were none in Europe having knowledge 
of this document, and the despatch of M. de Gramont to the 
Consul of Ancona, who did not believe that a rupture was 
imminent, if it had not already taken place, between the Emperor 
Napoleon and King Victor Emmanuel. General Lamoriciere was 
too upright and loyal-minded not to fall into the snare. He wrote 
promptly to Mgr. de Merode, asking him to send provisions to 
Ancona, where he purposed establishing his quarters, not having 
had time to prepare for battle in the open country. He had no 

224 Pius IX. And His Time 

disquietude as regarded Umbria. He left it to be defended by 
France. He hoped also that General de Goyon would not confine 
himself to guarding the walls of Rome, and that he would, at 
least, prevent invasion from the direction of Naples, and by way 
of the valley of Orvieto. He was confident that France would 
finally intervene. And it would be highly advantageous if, in 
the meantime, French troops garrisoned Viterbo, Velletri and 

The declarations of Napoleon were like the despatches of 
Messrs. Thouvenel and Gramont, nothing better than empty 
words — "diplomatic papers," as Cialdini contemptuously called 
them. His only object was to lull public opinion, and let the 
Piedmontese have the advantage of a. fait accompli. Of this there 
was no room to doubt, when, a little later, he took officially under 
[225] his protection the fruit of that criminal aggression against which 

he had so loudly protested. Either from weakness or treachery he 
was an accomplice, and played a preconcerted game. At first he 
may have been sincere in threatening, in the hope of intimidating 
the revolution. But when there was question of acting, and he 
knew that it defied him, he recoiled. French historians remark, 
with pain, that this was a sad alternative, as regards the memory 
of a man who had the honor to govern France — the nation, more 
than all others, renowned for chivalry. It was also a rebuke to that 
nation which was so weak as to submit, for twenty years, to his 
rule. His friends are brought to the extremity of demonstrating 
that he was a coward, if they wish to hinder mankind from 
believing that he was a traitor. 

Meanwhile, Lamoriciere, by forced marches, on the 16th 
September, reached Loretto, from which the enemy withdrew 
at his approach. His inconsiderable force counted scarcely 
3,000 combatants, viz.: 2,000 infantry, 800 troopers, and 200 
artillerymen. But he had given rendezvous at the spot to the 
general, Marquis of Pimodan, who brought to him from Terai 
2,000 infantry, and arrived a little before night, on the 17th. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 225 

Thus did it fall to his lot, with 5,000 men at most, and some 
old artillery which had not been sufficiently exercised, to face 
Cialdini, who had, at the moment, 45,000 men, and was provided 
with rifled cannon. An engagement on the 1 8th was inevitable. 
The Piedmontese were echeloned along the hills which fill the 
declivity from Castelfidardo towards the plain, and extend to 
within 500 metres of the small river Musone. Their artillery 
swept the declivities in all directions. They occupied, in strength, 
two farms which were situated, the one 600 metres behind the 
other, towards the principal hill. By delaying longer, Lamoriciere 
would only have exposed himself to be surrounded and compelled 
to lay down his arms. At four o'clock in the morning, the soldiers 
of the Pope, with the two generals at their head, prepared for 
death, by devoutly participating in the most holy sacrament of the 
Eucharist. At eight, Pimodan rushed upon the two farms already 
mentioned. His watchword was to carry them and hold them [226] 
as long as possible, as they commanded the pass of Musone, 
where the bulk of the army, with the baggage, must defile, 
and there was no other way than this pass by which the route 
of Ancona could be gained. The first farm, although warmly 
defended, was carried, and a hundred prisoners were taken. Six 
six-pounders were immediately brought up, in order to protect 
the position against a fresh attack of the enemy. Captain Richter, 
who commanded them, under the orders of Colonel Blumenstihl, 
was pierced in the thigh by a ball; he would not, however, leave 
the field, but remained in the midst of the fire. Two howitzers, 
commanded by Lieutenant Dandier, with the aid of a hundred 
Irishmen, who had arrived the night before from Spoleto, were 
placed in the open space in front of the farm, exposed to the 
grape shot of the Piedmontese, to which they replied as if they 
had been in force. Unfortunately, all parties did not do their 
duty so well. Pimodan was obliged to dismiss, on the battle- 
field, the commander of the First Battalion of Chasseurs. "The 
moment had come," says Lamoriciere in his report, "to attack the 

226 Pius IX. And His Time 

second farm. General Pimodan formed a small column, under the 
orders of Commandant Becdelievre, composed of the Battalion 
of Belgian Fusiliers, of a detachment of Carabiniers, and of the 
First Battalion of Chasseurs. This column boldly advanced, 
notwithstanding a most active fusilade from the farm and the 
wood. There were 500 metres to march over thus exposed. But 
when about a hundred and fifty feet from the summit of the hill 
it was received by the fire of two ranks of a strong line of battle, 
which put so great a number of the men hors de combat that it 
was obliged to fall back. The enemy pursued. But when he had 
nearly reached our troops, the column faced round, waited for 
him at fifteen paces distance, received him with a well-directed 
fire, and rushed on him with the bayonet. Astonished at so much 
daring and coolness, the enemy, although superior in number, 
fell back in his turn, and thus allowed our soldiers to regain the 
[227] position which they had left. The fire of our artillery, which 

was well supplied and well directed, protected these movements. 
The enemy had lost more men; but, relatively, our losses were 
more felt than his. Pimodan had been wounded in the face; but, 
nevertheless, he retained his command. I observed that his two 
battalions and a half were not sufficiently strong to carry the 
second position; so I sent for the two reserve battalions, and 
ordered the cavalry to pass the river, and follow on our right 
flank the march of our columns. During this time the enemy had 
endeavored to overwhelm us on both sides. Major Becdelievre 
brought together what remained of his battalion, rushed upon the 
fusileers and forced them back into the wood whence they had 
come." These were splendid feats of arms. But the excessive 
inferiority of Lamoriciere's artillery and numbers made victory 
impossible. The revolution had its emissaries enrolled as soldiers 
in the Pontifical army. One of these, by a traitorous blow from 
behind, slew the brave Pimodan in the height of the battle. 
These traitors also caused a panic at the decisive moment by 
spreading false alarms. The youthful soldiers of the reserve, who 

Pius IX. And His Time. 227 

had never seen fire, became demoralized, and fled in confusion, 
without hearing the sound of a single ball. Others followed. 
The artillery, now no longer supported, and, fearing to be taken, 
sought safety in flight. But instead of gaining the road to Ancona, 
it fell back on Loretto, where it could not fail to fall into the 
hands of the enemy. Lamoriciere, always calm in such terrible 
discomfiture, made unheard-of exertions, as did also his aids-de- 
camp, Messrs. de Maistre, de Lorgeril, de Robiano, de France 
and Montmarin, in endeavoring to guide the precipitate retreat. 
His orders either were not conveyed or were not executed. Then, 
as was his custom in Africa, he hurried alone on horseback 
to within a hundred feet of the lines, in order to ascertain the 
situation, rejoined his staff, labored to stay the flight, and when 
all was lost, he executed, with five-and-forty horse and a hundred 
infantry, a movement which with the army was impossible. He 
took the route of Ancona, which a Piedmontese squadron was [228] 
preparing to bombard, and reached that place by five o'clock in 
the evening. The brave Franco-Belgians sacrificed themselves 
in order to save the rest of the army. They held out in the farm 
which they had occupied as long as their ammunition lasted. 
The neighboring fields and hedges were covered with dead and 
wounded Piedmontese; but they themselves were all either killed 
or taken. Among the slain and wounded were many of the best 
nobility of Europe — Paul de Percevaux, Edme de Montagnac, 
Arthur de Chalus, Hyacinth de Lanascol, Alfege du Baudier, 
Joseph Guerin, Georges de Haliand, Felix de Montravel, Alfred 
de la Barre de Nanteuil, Thierry du Fougeray, Leopold de Lippe, 
Gaston du Plessis de Grenedan, Raoul Dumanoir, Lanfranc de 
Beccary, Alphonse Menard, Guelton, Rogatien Picon, Anseline 
de Puisage, George Myonnet. Such are a few of those noble 
youths who fell victims to their zeal and bravery when engaged 
with General Lamoriciere in his hopeless attempt to stem the 
overwhelming tide of revolution which, at the time, successfully 
defied all the Powers of Europe to move an arm in opposition to 

228 Pius IX. And His Time 


Lamoriciere succeeded in reaching Ancona, but only to 
prolong, for a few days more, a desperate contest. The available 
force in the place amounted only to 4,200 effective men, a 
number quite insufficient to man all the posts of such extensive 
fortifications. The general did not yet despair of aid from the 
French at Rome, and he flattered himself with the idea that if 
he only held out a few days, Austria and the other Catholic 
States would be shamed into activity. They, however, knew too 
well the intentions of France, and France had won the battle 
of Solferino. The brave Lamoriciere was assailed in his last 
retreat, both by sea and land. The bombardment lasted ten 
days, and was heard at Venice, the islands of Dalmatia, and 
even at Trieste. But not a friendly sail appeared in support of 
the besieged. The prolonged struggle did not even attract such 
vessels of neutral Powers as are commonly sent for the protection 
of their consuls and others of their respective nations, as well 
[229] as to offer their good services to women, children and other 

non-combatants. Such disgraceful conduct was condemned alike 
by the Protestant and Catholic press of Europe. The London 
Times reproached M. de Cavour with not having understood 
that "candid and honorable conduct is not incompatible with 
patriotism." The same paper quoted, in this connection, the 
words of Manin, which are a condemnation of the whole conduct 
of the Piedmontese under Victor Emmanuel: "Means which the 
moral sense repels, even when they are materially profitable, deal 
a mortal blow to a cause. No victory can be put in comparison 
with the absence of self-respect." Ancona was yet undergoing 
bombardment, when the three sovereigns of the North, who alone 
could have undertaken efficaciously the defence of the violated 
law of nations, met at Warsaw; and Napoleon III. presented to 
them a memorandum by which he engaged to abandon Piedmont 
in the event of her attacking Venice. But "he presupposed 
that the German Powers would also confine themselves to an 

Pius IX. And His Time. 229 

attitude of abstention, and would avoid furnishing a pretext for an 
Italian attack of Austria." At length, the Piedmontese fleet, under 
Admiral Persano, succeeded in demolishing the more important 
portion of the fortifications of Ancona. A white flag was now 
displayed on the citadel and all the lesser forts; and Major Mauri 
was sent on board the admiral's ship to negotiate a capitulation. 
The firing ceased on both sides. But now occurred a circumstance 
which stigmatizes to all time the character of the Piedmontese 
generals, Fanti and Cialdini. M. de Quatrebarbes relates, "that 
whilst the conditions of capitulation were under discussion, the 
land army, furious at having been repelled, and at having done 
nothing that could contribute towards the taking of the city, 
recommenced firing along the whole line. The bombardment 
and cannonade continued from nine o'clock in the evening of the 
28th until nine in the morning of the 29th, and that, although 
negotiators had been sent, and bells had been rung, announcing 
the cessation of hostilities, in defiance even of a very pressing 
letter of the admiral, who would not participate in such an [230] 
infamous proceeding. He also recalled on board his ships the 
marine who served a land battery. All this time not a single 
cannon was fired from the city. Thus the Piedmontese army 
bombarded incessantly for twelve hours a defenceless town, in 
violation of the law of nations, and all sentiments of honor and 
humanity. Admiral Persano himself reported at Turin the refusal 
of the land army to cease firing. Such a fact must excite the 
indignation of all right-thinking people." The revolution was 
highly offended when compared to Islamism. Are the regular 
troops of Islam accused of such barbarities? The Bashi-Bazouks 
could not have done worse. 

When the capitulation was signed at two o'clock in the 
afternoon of the 29th, the small Pontifical army had ceased 
to exist, and the Piedmontese, now free to follow out their plans, 
could go to join the bands of Garibaldi, under the walls of 
Gaeta, and, together with him, complete "the extirpation of the 

230 Pius IX. And His Time 

Papal cancer," or, as one of their school, Pinelli, said, "Crush the 
sacerdotal vampire." But although right had been trampled down, 
it knew how to do battle and to die. "For the first time," observed 
a Protestant journal, the new Gazette of Prussia, "a general of the 
party of legality has dared to lead his troops against the enemy. 
For the first time the revolution has been met in the field of 
battle. The effort has not been successful. We know it. And as 
we repeatedly said beforehand, we had no hope that it would. 
But the defeat of Lamoriciere raises the mind by contrast. For a 
long time we had been accustomed to the triumphs of cowardice, 
treachery and corruption, of all which the victories of Garibaldi 
presented such a disgusting spectacle. We are assured that the 
Pontifical troops did their duty unto death. This is enough. It 
is easily understood how the adversaries of the revolution had 
become humble. For years they could only record the victories 
of their enemies. But if, at Castelfidardo, a few individuals were 
defeated, the principle of legality was at last asserted. Now, if 
[231] men contend in battle for a principle its final triumph is assured." 

It was to be expected that Pius the Ninth would avenge the 
memory of the brave men who had been branded by the name 
of Mercenaries, the greater number of whom served without 
pay. No wonder if he did justice on the pretended moral order 
which Piedmont said it had come to restore in the States of 
the Church. Not only did he honor their noble efforts, he also 
founded at his own cost, and for their benefit, the chaplaincy of 
Castelfidardo in the sanctuary of the Scala Santa. He ordered 
the funeral obsequies of General Pimodan to be celebrated with 
becoming magnificence, and composed himself an inscription 
for his tomb in the French Church of St. Louis. He wished to 
confer on Lamoriciere the title of Roman Count. But the defeated 
hero declined the honor, saying that he desired always to be 
called Leon de la Moriciere. Pius IX. then addressed him a few 
words, which recall the piety of early times: "I send you what, at 
least, you cannot refuse, the order of Christ, for whom you have 

Pius IX. And His Time. 23 1 

combated, and who will, I trust, be your reward as well as mine." 

In France the government showed its revolutionary leaning by 
forbidding a subscription which was undertaken for the purpose 
of presenting a sword of honor to Lamoriciere. It did even 
worse than this. It meanly persecuted the vanquished soldiers 
of the Holy See, as well as those who had hastened to fill 
their places. This was pure revenge. And now that the success 
of Piedmont was no longer doubtful, it could serve no other 
purpose than to establish the fact of the Emperor's complicity. 
Such of the soldiers of the Pope as were natives of France 
were deprived of their rights of citizenship. Thus were noble 
youths, the flower of France, on their return from Castelfidardo 
and Ancona, deprived of the electoral franchise, and stripped 
of their right to serve on juries and in the army. Some even 
were interdicted from inheriting property on the pretext that, as 
strangers, their signatures required to be legalized. These men 
were, nevertheless, the actual defenders of a sovereign whom the 
government pretended to defend officially. The revolutionary 
papers audaciously said that the same law was not applicable [232] 
to such French subjects as joined the bands of Garibaldi, on the 
ground that these bands were neither a government nor a military 
corporation. This odd interpretation completely met the views of 
ministerial jurisprudence; and so was presented the extraordinary 
spectacle of a country outlawing such of her children as served 
the same cause as her army, and in nowise molesting those 
who supported the opposite side. All political allusions in the 
pulpit were now repressed with increased severity. The bishops, 
however, could not be intimidated. Besides, as they could not be 
displaced, they were not so easily reached. Mgr. Pie, the eminent 
Bishop of Poitiers, ascended the pulpit the Sunday after the battle. 
"My brethren," said he, "you all expected of me that I would 
speak to-day in my cathedral. It is according to the customs of 
the church to know how to honor her defenders, and to mourn 
for them when dead. And because, having taken upon myself a 

232 Pius IX. And His Time 

responsibility which I decline not, and having encouraged and 
blessed the departure of several of those youthful volunteers, 
I would be ashamed of myself if now, restrained by the fears 
arising from a pusillanimous prudence, I did not offer them the 
homage of my admiration together with that of my prayers. Your 
sympathies are already with my words. If they gave offence to 
any hearers, I would, indeed, be afflicted. But, by the grace 
of God, the country which we inhabit is called France, which 
warrants, or rather commands, that I should be candid." In the 
absence of that fame which victory confers, the vanquished were 
consoled by that immortality which eloquence bestows on those 
whom it celebrates. So long as the great art of oratory shall be 
appreciated in the countries of Fenelon and Bossuet, the funeral 
orations on Lamoriciere, by Bishops Pie and Dupanloup, together 
with the fine pages on the heroes of Castelfidardo, by Bishop 
Gerbet of Perpignan, Mgr. Plantier of Nismes, and other writers, 
will not cease to be read. 

"They died in order to defend us," said, as if prophetically, 
Archbishop Manning, who succeeded Cardinal Wiseman in the 
[233] new See of Westminster, already so illustrious; "the cause for 

which they fell is our cause. They are blind, indeed, who cannot 
see that what has been begun by the head will soon be undertaken 
against all the members; that the attacks will extend rapidly from 
the centre to the extremities; that revolutionary tyranny and the 
despotism of civil power will strive to establish everywhere, in 
detail, the domination which they are endeavoring to exercise 
over the will and the person of the Holy Father. We are at the 
commencement of a new era of penal laws against the liberty 
of the church. It is for us, therefore, that they have given their 
life. They died whilst the profane world loaded them with its 
curses, as died the martyrs in the Flavian amphitheatre, whilst 
the cry resounded, 'The Christians to the lions!' (Christianas 
ad leones), and in presence of thousands of spectators of the 
Imperial and Patrician families of Rome, and for the gratification 

Pius IX. And His Time. 233 

of the multitude which thirsted for blood, and such blood as was 
most noble and innocent. Thus died He who is greater than the 
martyrs, assailed by the insults of the Pharisees and the jeers of 
the ignorant masses. It is, therefore, glorious to die for a cause 
which the world will not and cannot understand. If they had 
died to defend commercial establishments against the indigenous 
inhabitants of some distant country, or to repel the attacks of a 
neighbor, or to maintain the integrity of the Ottoman Empire, 
the world would have understood and honored them, as it did 
in regard to the combatants of Alma and Inkerman. But, to fall 
in battle for the independence of the Sovereign Pontificate, to 
sacrifice themselves for the liberty of Christian consciences, and 
that of the generations to come — this the world understands not, 
and for this we proclaim them great and glorious among departed 

Four months later, Mgr. Pie was obliged to refute a new 
pamphlet, entitled, "France, Rome and Italy" and so endeavor to 
prevent new iniquities. He feared not to formulate the following 
terrible rebuke, which was denounced as seditious, but which 
history has already confirmed as a sentence: [234] 

"Pilate had it in his power to save Christ, and without Pilate 
He could not be put to death. The death-warrant could only come 
from him; nobis non licet interficere, said the Jews. Wash thy 
hands, O Pilate! declare thyself guiltless of the death of Christ. 
Our only answer every day will be, and the latest posterity will 
repeat the same: I believe in Jesus Christ, the only Son of the 
Father, who was conceived of the Holy Ghost, who was born of 
the Virgin Mary, who suffered death and passion under Pontius 
Pilate; Quipassus est sub Pontio Pilato." 

It was no secret when these words were spoken, as it was 
to Lamoriciere and his brave army, that the government of 
the French Emperor encouraged and patronized the iniquitous 
aggressions of Piedmont, whilst it pretended, in the face of 
Europe, to support the Holy See. 


Pius IX. And His Time 

Further expression 
of opinion. — The 
Great Powers. 


"It was not Garibaldi and his volunteers," said the Revue 
des deux Mondes, "that General Lamoriciere had to fight; the 
odds in that case would not have been so unequal. But he had 
the regular army of Piedmont before him — an army six times 
more numerous than his own. Nor was it the attack merely of a 
revolutionary party which was now directed against the temporal 
power of the Papacy. It was a government incomparably more 
powerful than the Pope's, which decreed arbitrarily itself alone, 
and in the face of the other nations of the world, the suppression 
of this power, and which accomplished that suppression by the 
irresistible force of its arms, and under the eyes of our garrison 
in Rome." Whilst Austria, not from any want of sympathy 
with the Holy See, but from the dread her cautious ministry, 
who had penetrated the designs of France, entertained of a 
new French invasion, looked tamely on from the heights of her 
quadrilateral, the French Emperor secretly expressed his approval 
of the Piedmontese attack on the Papal States, and at the same 
time publicly withdrew his ambassador at Turin, as a protest in 
the face of mankind against this unprovoked and unjustifiable 
attack. England, which could not be supposed to have much 
sympathy with the Holy See, notwithstanding the declarations of 
her best statesmen in support of the temporal sovereignty, openly 
pronounced in favor of the Piedmontese aggression on the Pope, 
who, in trying times, had been her most faithful ally. But the days 
of the elder Bonaparte were forgotten, and too much could not be 
done to conciliate the new ally whom the English had found in 
the second Bonaparte. So their representative, Sir John Hudson, 
remained at Turin, and was the confidential adviser there of 
Count de Cavour, while Sir Henry Elliot continued to reside at 
Naples after that city had become the headquarters of Garibaldi. 
The great Northern Powers, Russia and Prussia, acted a more 
honorable part. Even before the fall of Ancona was known, they 
both withdrew their ambassadors from Turin. Von Schleinitz, 
the Prussian Prime Minister, protested energetically against the 

Pius IX. And His Time. 235 

unwarrantable aggression of Piedmont. M. de Cavour, who 
understood the tendencies of the time, replied to Von Schleinitz, 
as if uttering a prophecy: "I regret that the Court of Berlin should 
judge so severely the conduct of the king and his government. I 
am conscious of acting in the interests of my sovereign and my 
country. I might reply successfully to what M. Von Schleinitz 
says. But, be that as it may, I console myself with the thought 
that, on the present occasion, I am setting an example which 
Prussia, within a short time probably, will be happy to follow." 

The cannonade had scarcely ceased to be heard at Ancona, 
when the Holy Father raised his voice in a consistorial allocution 
of 28th September, which, although addressed to the cardinals, 
is intended for the whole civilized world. The allocution briefly 
enumerates the several acts of aggression successively committed 
by the Piedmontese. It then alludes to Cavour's audacious 
letter, which was intended as a justification beforehand of the 
violation of territory, and the fearful bloodshed which followed. 
It expresses the false accusations, the repeated calumnies and 
insults which were put forward as a pretext for the invasion. It [236] 
also rebukes "the singular malignity with which the Piedmontese 
government dared to call the Pontifical soldiers mercenaries, 
when so many of them, both Italians and foreigners, were of 
noble lineage, bearing illustrious names, and had resolved to 
serve in our troops without pay, and for the sole love of our holy 
religion." The fact is established, to the disgrace of Piedmont, 
that the Papal government "could have had no intimation of the 
enemy's purpose. The general-in-chief commanding our forces 
could not have entertained the thought of having to contend with 
the soldiers of Piedmont." The meed of praise is awarded to the 
fallen warriors, together with the expression of unfeigned sorrow 
for their loss: "Whilst we must bestow merited praise on the 
general, his officers and his men, we can scarcely restrain our 
tears as we remember all those brave soldiers, those noble young 
men especially, who had been impelled by faith and their own 

236 Pius IX. And His Time 

generous hearts to fly to the defence of the temporal power of the 
Roman Church, and who have met with their death in this cruel 
and unjust invasion. We are deeply moved by the grief of their 
families; and would to God it were in our power, by any word 
of ours, to dry up the source of their tears!" If anything could 
be worse than the savage and murderous attack of Piedmont, it 
was the hypocritical pretence under which it was undertaken. 
The invaders came as "the restorers of moral order and as the 
preachers of tolerance and charity." The allocution concludes 
by denouncing this hypocrisy, together with the diplomatic 
principle of non-intervention, of which France and Piedmont set 
such brilliant examples. 

a The King of Sardinia having violently seized Umbria and 

piebiscitum— Umbnaj-jjg Marches of Ancona, must also have a mock plebiscitum, 

and the Marches of 

Ancona annexed to in order, no doubt, to make it appear that these provinces 
Sardinia. were spontaneously annexed to his kingdom. The fall of 

Gaeta and the conquest of Naples by Garibaldi encouraged 
the ambitious monarch in these unjustifiable annexations, and 
[237] although generally condemned by the European press, he most 

audaciously issued a proclamation in reply to the Papal allocution. 
All these nefarious acts, together with the outrages everywhere 
perpetrated against all who remained loyal to the Holy See and 
faithful to the sacred laws of the church, induced the Holy Father 
to publish the now celebrated allocution of March 18th, 1861. 
This allocution is perhaps the greatest doctrinal utterance of the 
Pontificate of Pius IX. But it must be considered in connection 
with the syllabus, which will now shortly be noticed. 

The Emperor Napoleon had, indeed, suspended public 
diplomatic relations with the court of Turin. This was intended 
merely as a blind, for he continued to negotiate secretly, 
through Prince Jerome Napoleon, concerning Rome, and what 
yet remained to the Pope of his states. He appeared to bind 
Piedmont to respect the sovereignty and independence of the 
Holy See, and had no objections that the Pope should raise an 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


army designed only for defensive purposes. On such conditions 
the Emperor would acknowledge the new kingdom of Italy. In 
all this there was a want of sincerity. Count Cavour, Prince 
Napoleon and the Emperor, were perfectly agreed that the Holy 
Father was, in due course of time, to be given up to his enemies. 

In order to prepare the world for this consummation of Franco- 
Sardinian policy, there appeared a new pamphlet, entitled La 
France, Rome et I'ltalie. It was signed by M. de la Gueronniere, 
and published on the 7th day of March. It was suggested, if not 
actually written, by the Emperor himself. The allocution already 
alluded to, dealt by anticipation with the chief points of this 
publication. It was, however, directly replied to in a letter of the 
eminent Cardinal Antonelli, to the Papal Minister at Paris. The 
cardinal begins by stating that the chief object of the pamphlet 
was "to throw on the Holy Father and his government the 
responsibility of the condition to which Italy and the Pontifical 
States in particular were reduced." He then proceeds lucidly, 
logically, and not without eloquence, to attack all the positions 
assumed by the writer, and exposes the treachery, baseness and 
duplicity of the principal adversaries of the Holy See in its long 
struggle with revolutionary Piedmont, supported as it was by 
the Emperor Napoleon III. It will be recollected that it had been 
proposed, indeed it was one of the articles of the treaty of Zurich, 
that there should be a confederation of the States of Italy. The 
writer of the pamphlet audaciously accused the Pope of having 
rejected the plan of an Italian confederacy, just as if he and not 
the Emperor and his ally, the King of Piedmont, had violated 
the treaty which succeeded the battle of Solferino. "The official 
proposition of such a confederacy," the cardinal states, "and of 
its presidency came only after the preliminaries of Villafranca 
and the treaty of Zurich; and the Holy Father showed himself 
disposed to accept it as soon as its basis should be defined. The 
author, nevertheless, says that it was then too late. He does not, 
in saying so, seem to perceive that he seriously insults his own 

The pamphlet La 
France, Rome et 
I'ltalie. — Cardinal 
Antonelli's reply. 


238 Pius IX. And His Time 

sovereign, as if he and the other Powers had proposed as the 
basis of a solemn treaty and the great means of conciliation, a 
thing which was at that moment neither possible nor opportune. 
Be that as it may, it was only then that the proposition was made 
by the person authorized to make it; and it is unjust to pretend 
that his Holiness had taken any action thereon before it was laid 
before him. Since, therefore, the plan fell through independently 
of his refusal, how can he, without a positive act of calumny, be 
accused of obstinacy on this point?" 

The cardinal's letter is of great length. In one place he 
recapitulates the heads of accusation contained in the pamphlet. 
"Putting aside," says he, "the unfounded assertions, the matters 
foreign to the case, which helped to fill up the pamphlet, the 
obstinacy which it imputes to the Holy Father amounts to his 
having declined an abdication which his conscience condemned, 
to his having deferred some reforms that were promised till the 
[239] revolted provinces had returned to their allegiance; to his having 

proposed to recruit an army for himself instead of accepting 
the troops offered to him; to his having preferred the voluntary 
offerings of the faithful to subsidies furnished by governments 
which are not all nor always equally disposed to be friendly. 
And these acts of firmness, of noble disinterestedness, which 
must appear most praiseworthy to the unprejudiced mind, which 
have appeared and do still appear worthy of the admiration of 
Protestants, seem, on the other hand, to the Catholic author 
of the pamphlet, to be so blameworthy that he could not find 
more bitter words of censure were he to write against those 
who are alone responsible for the sad disorders of the present 
time. But this is precisely what is of a nature to surprise 
us. The Imperial government of France had given advice 
to his Holiness; it had also given advice to the Piedmontese 
government. Now, if the Holy Father must be accused of not 
having followed such advice, the Piedmontese government does 
not seem to have been more docile. His Holiness did not deem it 

Pius IX. And His Time. 239 

expedient to do some things desired by the French government. 
But Piedmont did a great many things which the French 
government had publicly declared it was opposed to. The Imperial 
government forbade the violation of the neutrality of the Papal 
States; and to this the Piedmontese government responded by 
occupying the Romagna. The Imperial government disapproved 
annexation; and the Piedmontese government only answered by 
accomplishing annexation. The Imperial government forbade, in 
threatening language, the invasion of the Marches and Umbria; 
and the Piedmontese government responded by pouring grape 
shot into the small Pontifical army, by bombarding Ancona from 
sea and land, and by refusing to observe any of the laws of 
war acknowledged by all civilized nations. The author of the 
pamphlet allows his pen the most cruel license against the Holy 
See, but has not one single word of blame for the Piedmontese 
government. Who can explain such an attitude? The explanation 
is a very natural one, and is given on the last page of the 
pamphlet, where the author tells us that the Emperor of the [240] 
French cannot sacrifice Italy to the Court of Rome, nor give 
up the Papacy to the revolution; which means that the Court of 
Rome must be sacrificed to the exigencies of the peninsula, that 
the temporal dominion of the Holy See must be done away with, 
because it is in the way of the unification of Italy, and that this 
suppression is to prevent the Papacy or the spiritual power from 
falling beneath the blows of the revolution." It cannot fail to be 
remarked that in all the French Emperor's manifestos appears the 
pretext of protecting the Papacy from the revolution, whilst, but 
for his interference, it needed not such protection. Pius IX. was 
quite able to contend successfully against whatever revolutionary 
element there was in the Pontifical States. With the aid of his 
allies, he could also have repelled the attacks of Piedmont, if 
unsupported by the French. But against a Power so great that 
it could command the non-intervention of all other Powers, he 
was powerless. It may have afforded a momentary pleasure to 


Pius IX. And His Time 

First Italian 

Victor Emmanuel 
proclaimed King of 


Death of Count de 

the Carbonaro Prince, Napoleon III., to annihilate, for the sake 
of his way of promoting Italian unification, the time-honored 
sovereignty of the Pope. It afforded him no lasting benefit. 
Germany caught the idea, and becoming unified, hurled her 
legions against the common European enemy, who, in his day 
of sorest need, found not an ally, not so much as one powerful 
friend even in that Italy for which he had done and sacrificed so 

It now only remained for young Italy, revolutionized as it was, 
to assume and wear its blushing honors. Piedmont having seized 
Umbria and the Marches of Ancona, and having also, through 
her agent Garibaldi, taken possession of Sicily and Naples, was 
mistress not only of the greater portion of the Pontifical States, 
but also of almost all Italy at the same time. It became such 
greatness to have a parliament. Accordingly, the first Italian 
parliament assembled at Turin in February, 1861; and on the 
14th of March, Victor Emmanuel was proclaimed King of Italy. 
It was not, however, till the 24th of June that the French Emperor 
found it convenient to recognize this extended sovereignty. In 
doing so, no doubt, he was consistent with himself, although 
quite at variance with the professions of him who had so lately 
withdrawn his ambassador from the Court of Turin. 

Count de Cavour lived not to enjoy this recognition. He died 
on the 6th of June. This minister was a politician to the end; 
and he had no wish ever to be anything else. He was anxious, 
however, at the close, to have the merit of reconciliation with the 
church which he had so cruelly persecuted, both in the ancient 
State of Sardinia and in the newly-annexed territories of the 
"Kingdom of Italy." Finding that his latter end was approaching, 
he desired the presence of Friar Giacomo, Rector of the Madonna 
degli Angeli. This Friar, with whom, as is related, the Count had 
had a previous understanding, faithfully came. M. de Cavour 
remained alone with him for half an hour; and when the priest 
was gone he called Farini, and said to him: "My niece has had 

Pius IX. And His Time. 241 

Fra Giacomo to come to me; I must prepare for the dread passage 
to eternity; I have made my confession and received absolution. 
I wish all to know, and the good people of Turin particularly, 
that I die like a good Christian. I am at peace with myself. I 
have never wronged any one." It is a trite saying that the ruling 
passion of a man's life asserts its power at the hour of death; and 
the last recorded words of Count de Cavour would seem to show 
that to the end he was more bent on politics than prayer. As Friar 
Giacomo was reciting solemnly by his bedside the prayers for the 
departing soul, "Frate! Frate!" he exclaimed, whilst he pressed 
the Friar's hand, "libera chiesa in libera statol" (a free church 
in a free state). Admirable, no doubt. But how was the great 
idea to be realized, since the church could only be free when her 
ministers were dictated to, imprisoned, banished, and otherwise 
tormented? And what freedom for the state, unless it were free to 
tyrannize over and persecute the church? Judging Cavour and his 
party by their acts rather than their fine speeches, such was their [242] 
idea of a free church in a free state. If it be true that, as men live 
so they die, it is not true that Count de Cavour died like a good 
Christian. None will be inclined to dispute with him the comfort 
which he claimed of being at peace with himself. But they who 
are aware of the violence, the spoliation, the rapine, bloodshed, 
and unspeakable suffering, in all which he was, at least, an 
accomplice, if not the direct cause, throughout the States of the 
Italian Grand Dukes, the Pontifical territories and the kingdom 
of Naples, will not easily acknowledge that he spoke truth when 
he said that "he had never wronged anyone." But let us now be 
silent. There is One, and only One, who judgeth. 

Considering the assistance so recently afforded to Turkey by The Lebanon 
the Christian Powers, her Christian subjects were surely entitled Massacres -— Generosity 

J J of Pius IX. 

to her protection, But gratitude, it would appear, is not one of 
the virtues of Islamism. In June, 1860, the Pachas disarmed and 
delivered up to their deadly enemies the Christian Maronites of 
Lebanon and Damascus. Over a hundred villages inhabited by 

242 Pius IX. And His Time 

these people were completely destroyed. Neither the aged nor 
the young that fell into the hands of the enemy were spared; 
and, worse than all, seven thousand young women were carried 
captive into the desert. In these melancholy circumstances, 
Napoleon III. acted honorably and independently. He sent an 
armed expedition to chastise the guilty, and that in defiance of 
all opposition on the part of his allies, the English, who, from 
national jealousy, resisted a French protectorate in the East, 
and so assumed the disgraceful role of patronizing hordes of 
assassins. Incomprehensible conduct! since, a few years later, 
the same people were so moved by Turkish atrocities in Bulgaria 
that no British government could have dared to raise an arm in 
defence of the crumbling Empire of the Sultan. Pius IX. was 
deeply moved by the sufferings of his fellow-Christians. In a 
letter of 29th July, to the Patriarch of Antioch and the Bishops of 
[243] his Patriarchate, he expressed his sorrow and indignation at the 

fearful crimes that were committed. "It is particularly afflicting," 
said he, as he condemned certain speeches that were delivered 
in the British Parliament in favor of the guilty parties, "that 
more sympathy is accorded, and even more assistance extended, 
in our age to the fomenters of troubles and revolutions than to 
their victims." He commended France, that had remembered in 
the circumstances her Catholic traditions, and intimated that he 
would encourage with all his power the liberal offerings of the 
Christians of the West in support of their brethren of Syria. He 
himself, although he was deprived of his accustomed revenue, 
together with the greater portion of his states, contrived to bestow 
considerable assistance. 

Conversion of the A little later in the same year, the Holy Father met with 
Bulgarians. unlooked-for consolation in the conversion of the Bulgarian 

nation. On the 20th December, bishops, priests, and a great 
many lay persons of that country, abjured the Photian schism, 
and addressed to Rome a solemn act of union in the name of 
the majority of their fellow-countrymen. Pius IX. replied on the 

Pius IX. And His Time. 243 

29th of January, 1861. He was pleased himself to consecrate 
in the Sistine chapel their new archbishop, Sokolski. The latter, 
as he renewed the profession of faith, which had been already 
formulated in writing at Constantinople, said to the Holy Father: 
"It is your work that, although dead, we are come to life, and 
that, being lost, we are found again." Pius IX. referred all the 
glory to God. "Such works," he said, "are wholly divine. To 
Thee praise, benediction, everlasting thanks! O, Jesus Christ! 
source of mercy and of all consolation!" The Bulgarians were 
unfortunately situated. Jealousies of race prevailed among them, 
and did much to shake religious principle. Add to this that 
the schismatical Patriarch of Constantinople agreed to grant 
ecclesiastical autonomy, as it might be called, to Bulgaria. This 
was a deadly blow to the noble impulse which led them towards 
the centre of Christian unity. At first they were three millions 
of Catholics. The number speedily diminished to some tens of [244] 
thousands. Archbishop Sokolski suddenly disappeared. It is not 
known whether he abandoned his post or was carried away by 
force. The latter supposition is, as yet, the more probable. He 
is thought to have been recognized, several times, in a Russian 
monastery, whither he is supposed to have been taken by surprise, 
and obliged to remain against his will. Pius IX., understanding 
how necessary it was that the new flock should have a resident 
pastor, appointed a provisional successor to Sokolski, with the 
title of Administrator of the United Bulgarians, and labored 
assiduously to found for him churches and schools. Three 
schismatical Greek bishops, who had sought protection at Rome 
from the violent proceedings of their patriarch, did not persevere 
any more than the majority of the Bulgarians. A fourth, however, 
Melethios, Archbishop of Drama, happily remained steadfast, 
together with the Protestant bishop of Malta, another Protestant 
bishop, who was an American of the United States, and several 
prelates of the Greek schism, Armenians, Chaldeans or Copts. 
All these, about this time, placed themselves under the crook of 


Pius IX. And His Time 

The annexation 
to Piedmont of 
Umbria and the 
Marches publicly 
sanctioned by 

Napoleon III. 


Piedmont seeks to 
reign at Rome. 

the Supreme Pastor. 

Shortly before the death of Count de Cavour, the Emperor 
Napoleon was pleased to define the new limits of the papal 
domain. In doing so, he left the recently alienated provinces 
to Piedmont, and and confined the Pontiff to a comparatively 
small territory around the city of Rome. He could not have 
sanctioned more decidedly or more publicly the unjustifiable 
spoliation of the Sardinian king. Such a proceeding cannot but 
appear inconsistent to such as are aware only of his apparent 
quarrel with this monarch, and the withdrawal of his ambassador 
from Turin. To those, on the contrary, who have knowledge 
of, and consider his secret conference with, the Piedmontese 
Envoys at Chambery, and the violent attack on the Papal States, 
which, notwithstanding the public and official protest of the 
French government through their consul at Ancona, immediately 
followed, it will appear that Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor 
of the French, was only acting up to his policy and character. 
Soon after this new distribution of territory, the "Kingdom of 
Italy" was officially recognized by the government of the French 
Emperor; and this recognition paved the way for that of the other 
Powers, by most of whom, after some time, it was reluctantly 

Cavour was dead. But Sardinian ambition died not with 
him. Baron Ricasoli, who succeeded him as Prime Minister, 
encouraged by the support of France, which was no longer 
disguised, actually wrote, in the name of his king, both to 
the Pope and Cardinal Antonelli, urging them to give up the 
sovereignty of Rome. This was done, not, of course, from any 
ambitious motive, but with a view to carrying out their great 
designs, such as the regeneration of society, and, above all, 
their conception of a "free church in a free state." The minister 
concludes magniloquently: "It is in your power, Holy Father, 
to renew, once more, the face of the earth. You can raise the 
Apostolic See to a height unknown for ages. If you wish to be 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


greater than earthly sovereigns, cast away from you the wretched 
kingship which brings you down to their level. Italy will bestow 
upon you a firm seat, entire liberty, and new greatness. She 
reveres in you the Pontiff; but she will not stop in her progress 
for the Prince. She intends to remain Catholic; but she purposes 
to be a free and independent nation. If you will only hearken 
to the prayers of that daughter whom you love so dearly, you 
will gain over souls more power than you can lose as a prince, 
and from the Vatican, as you lift your hand to bless Rome and 
the world, you will behold the nations, restored to their rights, 
bow down before you, their defender and protector." The new 
minister, less wary than his predecessor, immediately set about 
realizing his grand idea. With what success will soon be seen. 

The Piedmontese conquests had not been made without cost. 
Enormous sums had been spent in corrupting the Neapolitan 
people. Large amounts were still scattered throughout the 
annexed provinces, in order to maintain their loyalty to the 
new power; and the press was liberally subsidized, both in Italy 
and abroad. For such heavy expenditure money must be had. 
Rem! quomodocunque modo rem! An expedient which occurs so 
readily to revolutions was had recourse to. The properties of the 
convents and the treasures of the churches were seized. Members 
of religious communities were expelled from their monasteries 
and reduced to mendicity. The laws of the church were trampled 
under foot, together with the rights of citizens. The Jesuits were 
banished and cruelly maltreated like so many felons. Religious 
corporations were suppressed, the faithful clergy were thrown 
into prison, and many dioceses and parishes deprived of their 
pastors. Pius IX. deplored these calamities in his Allocution of 
30th November, 1861. In that of 18th March of the same year, 
he had replied to those who conjured him to be reconciled with 
modern civilization: "The Holy See," the Pontiff insisted, "is 
always consistent. It has never ceased to promote and sustain 
civilization. History bears witness to this fact. It shows most 


The Piedmontese 
Government fills 
its coffers by 
plundering the 


246 Pius IX. And His Time 

eloquently that, in every age, the Popes carried civilization into 
barbarous nations, and even to the remotest lands. But is that 
true civilization which enslaves the church, makes no account of 
treaties, and recognizes not the rights of weaker parties? It is 
quite certain that the church can never come to an understanding 
with such civilization. What is there in common, says the apostle, 
between Christ and Belial? As to making friendship with the 
usurpers of our provinces, before they have shown repentance, 
let no such thing be hoped for. To make such a proposition to us, 
is to ask this see, which has always been the rampart of justice 
and truth, to sanction the principle that a stolen object can be 
possessed in peace by the thief, and that injustice which succeeds 
[247] is justified by success. We loudly declare, therefore, before God 

and men, that there is no reason why we should be reconciled 
with any one. Our only duty, in this connection, is to forgive 
our enemies, and to pray for them, in order that they may be 
converted. This we do in all sincerity. But when we are asked 
to do what is unjust, we cannot give our consent: Prcestare non 

A little later, January, 1862, Cardinal Antonelli replied in 
the name of Pius IX. to the Marquis de Lavallette, the French 
Ambassador at Rome, showing that it was by no means true 
to say that the Pope was at variance with Italy. "An Italian 
himself, and the chief Italian, he suffers when Italy suffers, and 
he beholds with pain the severe trials to which the Italian church 
is subjected. As to arranging with those who have robbed us, we 
never will do any such thing. All transaction on this ground is 
impossible. By whatever reservations it might be accompanied, 
with whatever ingenuity of language it might be disguised, we 
could not accept, without appearing to consecrate the wrong. The 
Sovereign Pontiff, before his exaltation, as well as the cardinals 
before their nomination, bind themselves by oath to cede no 
portion of the territory of the church. The Holy Father, therefore, 
will not make any concession of this kind. Neither a Conclave, 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


nor a new Pontiff, nor his successors in any age, would be entitled 
to make such concession." 

The revolutionists, however, could help themselves. It would 
not be difficult to imagine the people of Italy, a few generations 
hence, if, indeed, the kingdom of Italy be destined to last so long, 
looking back to their founders with that same kind of pride which 
animated the great Romans when they thought of Romulus and 
Remus, and the band of brigands who helped them to found the 

About this time the French parliamentary chambers began to 
enjoy, to a certain extent, liberty of speech. They could now 
discuss an address to the sovereign, and give full publicity to 
their debates. Inquiry could now be made to some purpose, 
whether the Italian policy of Napoleon III. was sanctioned by 
France, whether that aberration were national which impelled to 
the violation of all right and law, in order to unify Italy, and 
pave the way, at the same time, for the unification of Germany. 
The revolutionary left of the French parliament, as a matter of 
course, favored the Emperor's revolutionary foreign policy. But 
the liberty of debate showed that there was a powerful minority 
opposed to them, and this minority enjoyed the sanction of the 
greatest statesmen of the age. In the Senate, notwithstanding the 
absence of every member of the Legitimist party, as well as that 
of Messrs. de Montalembert and de Fallou, whom a coalition 
of the despotism of the day with radicalism had caused to lose 
their seats, a tolerable number of the most devoted partisans 
of the empire showed a boldness of language, together with 
well-defined statesmanlike views, to which the Imperial regime 
was not accustomed. Several of the ablest orators concurred in 
presenting an amendment to the address to the throne in favor of 
the Pope's temporal sovereignty. It was, of course, opposed by 
the government, but was supported, nevertheless, by sixty votes 
to seventy-nine. In the legislative assembly, notwithstanding all 
the ability displayed by the representatives of the government, 


The Emperor 

Napoleon induced 
to modify his 
Italian policy. 

248 Pius IX. And His Time 

the Emperor's Italian policy could obtain the support of only 
161 votes, whilst it was condemned by the powerful minority 
of ninety-one. The radical leaders of the majority now thought 
the time opportune for demanding the recall of the French troops 
from Rome. The government went dead against it, and invited 
the deputies to join with it in condemning the inordinate and 
persistent ambition of the revolution. This the assembly did by 
a solid vote of the whole house to five. Of this precious quintet, 
Jules Favre and Emile Olivier, the leaders of the government, 
[249] were two. 

Such national demonstrations in favor of the sovereignty 
which he had done his best to crush were very irritating to 
the Emperor Napoleon; and although he endeavored to appear 
wholly absorbed by his life of Csesar, he could not avoid showing 
by his acts how profoundly he was disturbed by being thwarted. 
Everywhere throughout France the Catholics were made to suffer. 
The clergy were persecuted as far as the laws of the country 
would allow, and the Imperial anger went so far as to wreak 
its vengeance on the poor by suppressing that benevolent and 
non-political institution, the Association of St. Vincent de Paul. 
Needless to say that, at the same time, the Catholic press was 
held in fetters. There was no relaxation in its favor till the year 
1867, when the law extending the liberty of the press became 
available to Catholic as well as all other writers. The Emperor 
even sacrificed the best supporters of the Imperial system on 
account of their dislike to his anti-Roman policy. Not only from 
such men did warnings come, but also from eminent statesmen 
of former regimes, such as Messrs. Sauzet, de Broglie, Vitet, 
and even M. Guizot, who was a Protestant, together with Messrs. 
Thiers, Cousin and Dufaure, who were only nominal Catholics. 
"Madame," said M. Thiers, one day, to the Empress, with more 
truth than politesse, "history lays down the law that quiconque 
mange du Pape en creve. 

6 Whoever thinks to devour the Pope will die of indigestion. These words, 

Pius IX. And His Time. 249 

So many and such decided manifestations of public opinion 
were not without their effects. No less a personage than Garibaldi, 
relying, as he thought he could do, on Piedmontese support, now 
undertook to realize to the full the revolutionary programme — the 
Kingdom of Italy, with Rome for its capital. The King of 
Piedmont, whilst he publicly disowned the filibuster, as he had 
affected to disown him in Sicily, held an army in reserve for his 
support. He expected himself to be officially condemned, whilst 
in reality, as usual, privately sustained. [250] 

In the meantime, however, the policy of his Imperial patron Garibaldi defeated 
was considerably modified; and orders were despatched to his at As P romonte - 
Sardinian Majesty, which he could neither take as a blind nor 
dare to disregard. So the Piedmontese army, which was intended 
to aid the filibusters in the sack of Rome, was obliged to fight 
them. It came up with the bands of Garibaldi, at a place called 
Aspromonte, on the 29th of August, 1862. The irregular force 
was defeated, its leader wounded in the heel and taken prisoner. 
Garibaldi being so renowned a warrior — Achilles was nothing to 
him — was immediately released. Napoleon had spoken sincerely 
at last. If he had always done so there would have been less 
disorder, less violation of all right and less bloodshed, in bringing 
together the provinces and states of Italy. If it had been his policy 
to concur with the Pope and the party of true reform, instead of 
patronizing a filibustering prince, he might have lived to see a 
less objectionable and more lasting unification of Italy than that 
which he so powerfully aided in achieving. 

The intriguing Cabinet of Turin took great credit to itself 
for having so vigorously acted, although against its will, in 
preventing Garibaldi from seizing Rome. As a reward for this 
signal service, it boldly proposed to go there itself. But the 
time had not yet come. The fall of Rome was destined to 
occur simultaneously with another event, in which the Emperor 
Napoleon was directly and personally interested. To do him 

though not very polite, proved to be prophetic. 

250 Pius IX. And His Time 

justice, he was from this time anxious that matters should be 
settled advantageously to the Holy See, but without prejudice to 
the revolution. The idea was chimerical. But that is no reason for 
[251] supposing that it was not sincerely entertained. 

Canonization of the The venerable Pontiff derived some comfort from the resolve 
Martyrs of Japan. Q f ^ e French nation, in which all parties, as has been seen, 
concurred, and the determination of its Imperial head to check the 
career of revolution, and leave Rome to its legitimate sovereign. 
But meanwhile more abundant consolations in the spiritual order 
were showered upon him. In the course of the great struggle 
in which there was now, at length, a pause, he was practically 
abandoned, even by the most friendly nations. It now fell to 
his lot to fulfil a high duty incident to the Pontifical office, 
and the nations, through their numerous representatives, flocked 
around him. No earthly prince was ever so sustained by the 
sympathies of mankind. The time had now arrived, all research 
and investigation having come to a close, when those heroes of 
the Christian faith who, in the year 1597, had suffered martyrdom 
at the hands of the Japanese, should be solemnly canonized. They 
were twenty-six in number. One of these was an American, and 
suffered at Nagasaki in the year just mentioned. Another process 
of canonization had also been concluded — that of the blessed 
Michael de Sanctis, a Trinitarian, and member of the order for 
the Redemption of Captives. Pius IX. had invited the bishops 
to attend the important ceremony. The Sardinian government, 
which took credit to itself for having established a "free church 
in a free state," forbade the Italian bishops to visit Rome on this 
occasion. No fewer than ninety bishops protested against this 
mockery of liberty, and declared that nothing but the strong hand 
of power could have prevented them from repairing to the holy 

Notwithstanding the forced absence of so many bishops, 
there were at Rome three hundred and twenty-three cardinals, 
patriarchs, archbishops and bishops, more than four thousand 

Pius IX. And His Time. 25 1 

priests, and one hundred thousand strangers of various nations 
and classes. Humble curates of the Alpine regions, who were too 
poor to undertake the journey, subscribed in order to send a few 
of their number in the name of the rest. Numerous ships which [252] 
were, for the time, as floating convents, sailed from the ports of 
France, Spain and Italy, invoking Mary the Star of the Sea — Ave 
Maris Stella — whilst masses of people responded from the shore; 
the hearts of all were with them. There was high festival at Rome 
from Ascension Day to Whitsuntide. All thoughts of politics were 
dismissed; the grand religious celebration absorbing all attention. 
As often as Pius IX. appeared in public, he was honored with 
an ovation. On one occasion, in particular, there was a great 
demonstration by the clergy and the artillerymen of the French 
army, on the day before Pentecost Sunday. The Bishop of Tulle, 
Mgr. Berteaud, Mgr. Dupanloup of Orleans, and other bishops, 
addressed immense crowds, and produced religious emotion in 
which unbelievers could not help participating. It is not recorded 
that Pius IX. had preached in public since the beginning of his 
Pontificate. He now, on the 6th of June, delivered the word of 
God in the Sistine Chapel, speaking first in Latin and afterwards 
in French. His audience consisted of four thousand priests, as 
many as could be assembled within the spacious edifice. All 
were deeply moved, and only refrained through reverence from 
giving vent to their feelings. As soon as the Holy Father had 
announced the apostolic benediction, one of the priests happily 
intoned the liturgical prayer: "Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Pio." 
"Let us pray for our Pontiff Pius." All present, as if with one 
voice, responded: "The Lord preserve him and give him life, 
and make him blessed upon earth, and deliver him not to the 
will of his enemies." One may have some idea how the Catholic 
mind was impressed, from the words of M. Louis Veuillot: "We 
traversed our beloved Rome with filial affection. And if the 
thought occurred to us that there existed a design to rob us of 
it, our feeling was one of anger rather than of fear. We passed 

252 Pius IX. And His Time 

from sanctuary to sanctuary, inquiring as to the places where 
Pius IX. would appear, in order to pay profoundest reverence to 
the Holy Pontiff. 'No, no,' exclaimed a bishop, as he came from 
the presence of the Holy Father, 'it is not true, it is not possible! 
[253] Do not believe that there are Victor Emmanuels, Garibaldis, 

Ratazzis! Such a man cannot have enemies!' '" 

On Pentecost Sunday, June 8th, 1862, it was known that the 
Basilica of St. Peter would be open at five o'clock in the morning. 
All night the neighboring streets were crowded, and when the 
gates were thrown open that greatest of earth's temples was filled 
in a few minutes. The Pontifical troops were on guard inside. 
The foreign ambassadors, the royal family of Naples, and other 
distinguished persons filled the tribunes; and the French infantry 
was massed on St. Peter's place. The church was appropriately 
decorated with paintings representing scenes in the lives of the 
martyrs and illustrious confessors. The thousands of lights which 
shone around added splendor to the scene. At seven o'clock the 
great procession began to move. First came a troop of orphans, 
then appeared the students of the ecclesiastical seminaries. These 
were followed by religious communities and the secular clergy. 
Bishops came next, and archbishops, patriarchs and cardinals. 
Then appeared the Supreme Pastor, preceded by the banners of 
the saints that were to be canonized. All besides was now forgot, 
as the Holy Father was borne slowly along, seated on the sedia 
gestatoria, which was carried by twelve attendants in scarlet 
cloaks. The Tiara added dignity to the noble figure of the Pontiff. 
In his left hand, which was veiled with white silk, embroidered 
with gold, he held a lighted wax taper, while his right was left 
free to bless the people as he passed along. The correspondent of 
the London Times, who was a Protestant, says: "Looking over the 
sea of heads placed between me and the procession, I observed 
that all knelt before Pius IX., the meek and the good, for it is only 
justice so to speak of him. The chanters of the Vatican chanted in 
angelic tones: Tu es Petrus, and these tones, softened rather than 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


weakened by distance, pervaded the whole edifice like spirits. At 
intervals, another group chanted: Ave Maris Stella, and thus the 
Pope was borne, through the thousands of Christians who had 
come from every country on which the sun shines, to the high 
altar behind the tomb of the apostles." 

In the midst of so much pomp and glory, Pius IX. was humble 
and collected, referring all to Him of whom he was only the 
representative on earth. At the same time, his soul overflowed 
with happiness when he saw that there was still so much faith 
in Israel. The Sovereign Pontiff now took his seat upon the 
Papal throne, and having received the obedience of the cardinals 
and bishops, he was approached by the consistorial advocate, 
who thrice petitioned him to permit the names of the glorious 
martyrs and confessors to be inscribed on the diptychs of the 
saints, which the church recognizes and holds sacred. After 
the request had been made the third time, the Holy Father read 
in a clear and audible voice the decree of canonization. He 
then intoned the Te Deum, which was chanted by the immense 
congregation. The ceremonies concluded with a solemn High 
Mass, which was celebrated by the Pope himself, surrounded by 
the cardinals and bishops. The people spent the remainder of the 
day in pious rejoicing. They were gay and expansive, but calm 
and brotherly; thus exhibiting, without being conscious of it, a 
spectacle unknown to the inhabitants of other capitals. 

The demonstrations which took place at Rome on the following 
day were not less important, and perhaps had greater significance, 
although not accompanied by so much pomp and ceremony. 
There was held in the Palace of the Vatican a semi-public 
consistory, at which all the bishops who were at Rome attended. 
The venerable Pontiff denounced, in his allocution to the attentive 
audience, those errors which are too ancient to have even the 
merit of originality, but which are the more dangerous that, at 
the present time more than ever, they are loudly preached and 
widely disseminated. He alluded in particular to that German 


The Pope's 

allocution to the 
assembled bishops. 
He denounces the 
errors of the time. 

254 Pius IX. And His Time 

criticism, which views our sacred books as nothing better than 
a system of mythology, and to that too well-known romance 
of a French writer, M. Renan, entitled: "The Life of Jesus." 
[255] He condemned materialism, pantheism, naturalism, and all 

those more or less degrading systems which deny human liberty, 
proclaim a morality independent of the laws of God; which 
derive from material force and superior numbers all law and 
authority: and which in philosophy make reason their God, the 
state in politics, and passion in the daily conduct of life. The Holy 
Father then thanked the bishops who were present, regretting the 
absence of those of Portugal and Italy, the latter of whom were 
restrained by the Piedmontese government, and exhorted them 
all to continue to combat error, and to turn away the eyes and 
hands of the faithful from bad books and bad journals, and to 
promote, without ever wearying, the instruction of the clergy and 
the good education of youth. He concluded, in a voice which 
was impeded by his tears, and with his eyes raised to heaven, 
by joining with all present in beseeching the Father of mercies, 
through the merits of Jesus Christ, His only Son, to extend a 
helping hand to Christian and civil society, and to restore peace 
to the church. 

Cardinal Mattei, dean of the Sacred College, replied in the 
name of all the bishops. Three points chiefly, among others, were 
affirmed in his declaration. First of all, the supreme doctrinal 
authority and infallibility of the Roman Pontiff. "You are in 
our regard the master of sound doctrine. You are the centre 
of unity. You are the foundation of the church itself, against 
which the gates of hell shall not prevail. When you speak, 
we hear Peter. When you decree, we obey Jesus Christ. We 
admire you in the midst of so many trials and tempests, with a 
serene brow and unshaken mind, invincibly fulfilling your sacred 
ministry." Next, the temporal sovereignty of the Holy See. "We 
acknowledge that your temporal sovereignty is necessary, and 
that it was established in fulfilment of a manifest design of 

Pius IX. And His Time. 255 

Divine Providence. We hesitate not to declare that this temporal 
sovereignty is required for the good of the church and the free 
government of souls. It was necessary that the Supreme Pontiff 
should be neither the subject nor even the guest of any prince. [256] 
There was required in the centre of Europe a sacred bond, placed 
between the three continents of the ancient world, an august seat, 
whence arises in turns, for peoples and for princes, a great and 
powerful voice, the voice of justice and of truth, impartial and 
without preference, free from all arbitrary influence, and which 
can neither be repressed by fear nor circumvented by artifice. 
How could it have been that at this very moment the prelates of 
the church, arriving from all points of the universe, should have 
come here in order to represent all peoples, and confer in security 
on the gravest interests, if they had found any prince whomsoever 
ruling in this land who had suspicions of their princes, or who 
was suspected by them on account of his hostility? In such case 
their duties as citizens might have conflicted with their duties as 
bishops." Finally, the intimate union of the Catholic world with 
the Pope. "We condemn the errors which you have condemned. 
We reprove the sacrilegious acts, the violations of ecclesiastical 
immunity, and the other crimes committed against the chair of 
Peter. We give utterance to this protest, which we claim shall be 
inserted in the annals of the church, in all sincerity, in the name of 
our brethren who are absent, in the name of those who, detained 
at home by force, lament and are silent, in the name of those 
whom the state of their health or important affairs have prevented 
from joining us in this place. To our number we add the clergy 
and the faithful people who give you proof of their love and 
veneration by their assiduous prayers, as well as by the offering 
of Peter's pence. Would to God that all kings and powerful men 
in the world understood that the cause of the Pontiff is the cause 
of all states. Would to God that they came to an understanding in 
order to place in security the sacred cause of the Christian world 
and of social order." 

256 Pius IX. And His Time 

Pius IX. made reply: "United as we are, venerable brethren, 
we cannot doubt that the God of peace and charity is with us. 
And if God be with us, who shall be against us? Praise, honor, 
[257] glory to God! To you, peace, salvation and joy! Peace to your 

minds; salvation to the faithful committed to your care; joy to 
you and to them, in order that you may all rejoice, chaunting a 
new canticle in the House of God for evermore!" 

The address which Cardinal Mattei read bore the signatures of 
all the bishops who were in Rome. The bishops of Italy hastened 
to express their concurrence, with one exception, Ariano, who 
had participated in the revolutionary movement, and who came 
to an unhappy death within the year. There came, in due course, 
numerous adhesions from all parts of the world, together with 
countless addresses from the clergy of the second order. The 
laity, on their part, received the bishops on their return home 
with triumphal honors. They came around them and escorted 
them to the pulpits of their cathedrals, in order to hear from their 
lips all that had taken place at Rome. The Bishop of Moulins, 
Mgr. de Droux Breze, admirably expressed in a few words 
the impressions of the venerable pilgrims: "Rome is a city of 
wonders; but the wonder of Rome is Pius IX." 

The moral result of all these manifestations was incalculable. 
At a time when universal suffrage had come into vogue, it was 
impossible not to see in all this, from a merely wordly point 
of view, indirect, indeed, but strikingly universal suffrage. The 
vote of the whole Catholic world was shown, united with that of 
the Romans, in affirming the rights of the Catholic world over 
Rome, whilst appeared, at the same time, the determination of 
the Romans to retain their cherished autonomy, and to remain 
the capital of the Catholic world. The parliament of Turin 
was greatly agitated. There was indescribable confusion, so 
that discussion was impossible. They voted, in opposition to 
the Episcopal and Pontifical allocutions, an address to Victor 
Emmanuel, the character of which may be gathered from the 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


following few words: "Sire, bishops, almost all strangers in Italy, 
have proclaimed the strange doctrine that Rome is the slave of 
the Catholic world. We reply to them by declaring that we 
are resolved, to maintain inviolable the right of the nation and 
that of the Italian metropolis, which is, at present, retained by 
force under a detested yoke." It was of a piece with many other 
assertions of the revolutionary party that the Romans detested 
the rule of the Holy Father. It was particularly audacious to make 
such an assertion in face of the enthusiastic demonstrations which 
had just been made in the city of the Popes. They had forbidden 
the presence of the Italian bishops at Rome, and nevertheless 
they dared to complain that almost all the bishops who gathered 
around the Sovereign Pontiff were strangers in Italy. But what 
did this avail them? Did not the Italian bishops decidedly express 
complete concurrence with their brethren? 

It is still more surprising that the Emperor Napoleon took no 
warning from the words of the Turin parliament, and went so far 
as to conclude an agreement with them for the preservation to 
the Pope of the Holy City. 

It is difficult to understand how a people numerically so weak 
as the inhabitants of that portion of the once great kingdom of 
Poland, which fell to the Russian Empire at the time of the 
unfortunate partition, could have undertaken a rebellion against 
so great a Power as Russia. But provocation, patriotism, the 
sense of nationality, together with the ardent love of liberty, set 
the laws of prudence at defiance. That provocation must have 
been of no ordinary kind which could excite, in Russian Poland, 
a third rebellion, which had no better prospect of success than 
the two former, which resulted so disastrously for the unhappy 
Poles. And, indeed, what could be worse or more calculated 
to cause insurrection than the cruelties, crimes and sacrilegious 
acts which the Russian government was guilty of throughout 
Poland in the years 1861 and 1862? The churches of that ill-fated 
country were seized and profaned, divine service interdicted, and 


The Church in 
Poland persecuted. 
Pius IX. raises his 
voice in its behalf. 

258 Pius IX. And His Time 

the bishops arraigned before courts-martial and cast into prison. 
Such atrocities, instead of crushing, only increased the patriotism 
[259] of the people. Russian policy, baffled as was to be expected, in its 

design of establishing tranquillity by such barbarous proceedings, 
had recourse to a rigid conscription intended to have the effect 
of forcing all the patriotic youth of the country into the ranks 
of the Russian army. This violent recruiting was first attempted 
at Warsaw, at dead of night, on the 15th of January, 1863. 
When the news of this violence spread throughout the country, 
all the young men capable of bearing arms fled to the steppes 
and forests, and, in eight days, all Poland was in rebellion for 
the third time, in order to break the yoke of the foreigner. A 
word from the great Powers, or any one of them, would have 
restored peace. But they all alike refused to speak this word. 
The British, after having encouraged the Poles to resistance 
in public speeches, were on the point of intervening in their 
behalf, when a hint from M. de Bismark suddenly cooled their 
zeal, and determined Lord John Russell to recall by telegraph 
threatening despatches which were already on their way to St. 
Petersburgh. It need scarcely be said that Prussia, which was an 
accomplice of Russia in the iniquitous partition, made common 
cause with Russia in the work of repression. Austria was at the 
time paralyzed, as Italy was threatening Venice. Italy simply 
expressed to Prince Gortschakoff, the Russian Chancellor, "its 
confidence that the Emperor Alexander would persevere in the 
reforms so unfortunately interrupted by the rebellion." Innocent 
Italians ! They, of course, were not guilty of causing rebellion, 
which was now, in their estimation, so deplorable in Sicily, 
Naples, the Grand Duchies, &c. Napoleon remained, as was his 
wont, undecided. He would neither assist the Poles nor give them 
to understand that he would not assist them. A word from him 
would have shortened, by eighteen months, a hopeless struggle 
of two years, which ended by exhausting them. 

There was one, however, who protested. Pius IX. denounced 

Pius IX. And His Time. 259 

the oppressor as fearlessly as if he had been the least of the 
princes of the earth. He wrote to him, at first, in a tone of 
mild remonstrance, on the 22d of April, 1863. But finding [260] 
that his representations were not heeded, he renewed them more 
pressingly. He did not confine himself to merely official acts. 
He sent Cardinal Reisach on a confidential mission to Vienna, 
and addressed a warm and feeling letter to the Emperor Francis 
Joseph, in order to induce him to take action energetically in 
common with France. He invited the whole Christian world to 
join with him in praying for the suffering nation which he nobly 
declared to be "the soldier of civilization and of faith." Such as 
were at Rome, at the time of these prayers, will never forget how 
enthusiastically the Roman people responded to the call of Pius 
IX. In praying for the defenders of a distant country, they seemed 
to pray, at the same time, for their own, which was now, more 
than ever, threatened. But the time of mercy had not yet come, 
and persecution was redoubled. Ecclesiastics were deported or 
put to death, simply for not having refused the aid of religion to 
the dying on the field of battle. Families and whole populations 
were doomed to choose between exile and apostacy. All the 
bishops, without exception, were driven from their dioceses, and 
some of them perished on the way to Siberia. Pius IX. could no 
longer contain his grief and indignation. On the 27th of April, 
1 864, in replying to the postulators in the cause of blessed Francis 
of the five wounds, he said: "The blood of the helpless and the 
innocent cries for vengeance to the throne of the Almighty against 
those by whom it is shed. Unhappy Poland! It was my desire 
not to speak before the approaching consistory. But I fear lest, 
by being silent any longer, I should draw down upon myself the 
punishment denounced by the prophets against those who tolerate 
iniquity. No, I would not that I were forced to cry out, one day, in 
presence of the Sovereign Judge: 'Woe to me because I have held 
my peace!' (Va mihi quia tacui.) I feel inspired at this moment 
to condemn a sovereign whose vast Empire reaches to the Pole. 

260 Pius IX. And His Time 

This potentate, who falsely calls himself the Catholic of the East, 
but who is only a schismatic cast forth from the bosom of the 
[261] true church, persecutes and slays his Catholic subjects, and by 

his ferocious cruelty has driven them to insurrection. Under the 
pretext of suppressing this insurrection, he extirpates the Catholic 
religion. He deports whole populations to inhospitable climes, 
where they are deprived of all religious assistance, and replaces 
them by schismatical adventurers. He tears the pastors from their 
flocks, and drives them into exile, or condemns them to forced 
labors and other degrading punishments. Happy they who have 
been able to escape, and who now wander in strange lands ! This 
potentate, all heterodox and schismatical as he is, arrogates to 
himself a power which the Vicar of Christ possesses not. He 
pretends to deprive a bishop whom we have rightfully instituted. 
Can he be ignorant that a Catholic bishop is always the same, 
whether in his see or in the catacombs, and that his character 
is ineffaceable? Let it not be said that in raising our voice 
against such misdeeds we encourage the European revolution. 
We can distinguish between the socialist revolution and the 
legitimate rights of a nation struggling for independence and its 
religion. In stigmatizing the persecutors of the Catholic religion, 
we fulfil a duty laid on us by our conscience. It behooves us 
to pray, with renewed earnestness, for that unfortunate country. 
In consequence, we impart our apostolic benediction to all who 
shall, this day, pray for Poland. Let us all pray for Poland!" It 
was as if the breath of God's anger were on the lips of the Holy 
Pontiff. Pius IX., remarks M. de St. Albin, swayed by his deep 
emotion, had risen from his throne, his voice was like thunder, 
and his arm appeared to threaten as if possessed of omnipotence. 

The revolutionists Such apostolic courage commanded the admiration of the 
admire the courage enem j es f ^g p ap acy. The deputy, Brofferio, said in the 

of Pius IX. 

parliament of Turin, whilst his colleagues, revolutionists like 
himself, applauded: "An old man, exhausted, sickly, without 
resources, without an army, on the brink of the grave, curses a 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


potentate who slaughters a people; I feel moved in my inmost 
soul; I imagine myself borne back to the days of Gregory VII.; I 
reverence and applaud." 

M. Meyendorf, the charge d'affaires of Russia, having been 
admitted to a private audience on occasion of the Christmas 
festivities of 1866, Pius IX. naturally directed the conversation 
to the painful state of ecclesiastical affairs in Poland. The 
Russian minister denied everything, even the most notorious 
facts, and ended by casting all the blame on the Catholics, who, 
he affirmed, had openly transacted with the Polish insurrection, 
whilst the Protestants generally sided with the government. "Nor 
was this astonishing," he added, "considering that Catholicism 
and revolution are the same thing." Pius IX. could not tolerate 
this false assertion, which was so absurd that it could have no 
other object than to insult him and the whole body of the faithful 
of whom he was the Chief. "Depart," said he to the minister, 
as he dismissed him, "I cannot but believe that your Emperor is 
ignorant of the greater part of the injustice under which Poland 
suffers. I, therefore, honor and esteem your Emperor; but I 
cannot say as much of his representative who comes to insult me 
in my own house." Pius IX. vainly hoped that the Envoy would 
be disowned, and diplomatic relations between Rome and St. 
Petersburgh continued. When Alexander II. suppressed, by his 
own authority, in 1867, the Catholic diocese of Kaminieck, Pius 
IX. was obliged to have recourse to the newspaper press, in order 
to make known to the Catholics of that unfortunate country that 
he appointed the Bishop of Zitomir provisional administrator. "I 
have no other means of communicating with them," said he "I 
act like the captain of a vessel who encloses in a bottle his last 
words to his family, and confides them to the storm, hoping that 
the waves will deposit them on some shore where they will be 
gathered up." 

Pius IX. showed himself as generous to princes as to peoples, 
acting always as the champion of justice in the cause of the 


The Russian Envoy 
insults the Pope. 

Pius IX. insists on 
protecting the ex- 
King of Naples, 
and takes Napoleon 
severely to task. 

262 Pius IX. And His Time 

former, as well as in supporting the undoubted rights of the latter. 
Francis II., of Naples, dethroned by his ambitious cousin, King 
Victor Emmanuel, was, as the Bonapartes had once been, an 
[263] exile at Rome, and enjoyed the same princely hospitality which 

his predecessor, in 1848, had extended to the Holy Father in the 
Kingdom of Naples. Victor Emmanuel remonstrated against this 
kindness to a fallen enemy. But in vain! He was powerless. His 
ally and patron, however, the French Emperor, was not so easily 
resisted. This potentate gave it to be understood, although not 
in express terms, that the stay of the French troops at Rome was 
dependent on the departure of the exiled monarch. The Pope, 
alluding to the family of Napoleon I., whom Pius VII. had kindly 
received at Rome, replied, satirically, that the Roman Pontiffs 
had traditions of hospitality, as regarded their persecutors, and 
much more in favor of their benefactors. Napoleon was ashamed 
to persist; and Francis II. remained at Rome as long as Pius IX. 
was master there. 

An Emperor and It was quite natural that Napoleon III. should entertain the 
Empress visit the j £ j ea ^ ^ fj e wa s born to found empires. He had succeeded in 

Pope. r 

establishing one on the ruins of a republic in the Old World. 
He now sought to build up Imperial power side by side with 
a republic in the New. Mexico was designed to be the seat of 
this empire; and, as that country greatly needed government of 
some kind, the time was deemed opportune for carrying into 
effect Napoleon's idea. The Imperial dignity was offered to the 
Archduke Maximilian of Austria; and this prince, relying on 
the support of France, consented to ascend the throne of the 
Montezumas. Before crossing the seas, Prince Maximilian came, 
together with his wife, the Princess Charlotte of Belgium, to 
Rome, in order to beg the prayers, the wise counsel and the 
apostolic benediction of the venerable Pontiff. So desired the 
new Emperor to inaugurate a reign which, it was hoped, would be 
great and prosperous. The Holy Father, at the solemn moment of 
communion, spoke to the Prince of Him by whom kings reign and 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


the framers of laws decree just things. In the name of this King 
of kings, he recommended to him the Catholic nation of Mexico, 
reminding him, at the same time, that he was, under God, the 
constituted protector of the rights of the people as well as those 
of the church. The Emperor and his youthful spouse were moved 
to tears; and Maximilian, on leaving Rome, declared that he 
departed under the protection of God, and with the benediction 
of the Holy Pontiff. "I am confident, therefore," he added, "that 
I shall be able to fulfil my great mission to Mexico." 

Unfortunately for him, however, liberalism, or, rather, ill- 
disguised socialism, was enthroned, for the moment, in what was 
destined to be, for a little while longer, the chief seat of European 
Power. It is not difficult to imagine whence counsel proceeded, 
and the inexperienced Emperor came to believe that Mexico 
might be governed as France was, whilst its ruler thwarted the 
will of the great majority of her people. He may not, indeed, have 
been free to reject the advice which swayed him. Be this as it 
may, he most unwisely cast himself into the arms of the party to 
whom monarchy and religion were alike hateful. He now framed 
a Concordat which, whilst it could not be acceptable to his new 
friends, was far from being such as the Pope could ratify. The 
revolutionary party had gained the new Emperor. 

The Holy Father, ever anxious to promote the well-being of 
the church, sent a nuncio to Maximilian, in order to remind 
him of his promises, and induce him to abolish the laws that 
had been enacted for the purpose of oppressing the church, 
and completely to reorganize ecclesiastical affairs with the full 
concurrence of the Holy See. The letter borne by the nuncio 
required that the Catholic religion should continue to be the stay 
and glory of the Mexican nation; that the bishops should be 
entirely free in the exercise of their pastoral ministry; that the 
religious orders should be restored and organized according to the 
instructions and faculties imparted by the Sovereign Pontiff; that 
the patrimony of the church and the rights connected therewith 


A Papal Nuncio 
sent to remind 
Maximilian of his 
promises made at 

264 Pius IX. And His Time 

should be guaranteed and protected; that none be allowed to 
disseminate false and subversive doctrines; that public as well as 
[265] private education be directed and superintended by ecclesiastical 

authority; and, finally, that those fetters be broken which had 
hitherto for some time held the church dependent on the arbitrary 
will of the civil power. "If," continued the Holy Father, "the 
religious edifice be re-established, as we doubt not it will, on 
such foundations, your Majesty will satisfy one of the greatest 
wants and realize the most ardent aspirations of the religious 
people of Mexico; you will dispel our disquietude and that of the 
illustrious Mexican Episcopate; you will pave the way for the 
education of a learned and zealous clergy, as well as the moral 
reformation of the people. You will thus, also, consolidate your 
throne, and promote the prosperity and glory of your Imperial 
family." In all this the Emperor would have been sustained by 
the great majority of the Mexican people. And there was nothing 
impossible required of him. It is not shown anywhere that the 
restoration of church properties, which had been long alienated 
and had often changed proprietors, would have been exacted, 
any more than in England, when religion was restored under the 
reign of Mary. The policy indicated by Pius IX. would have 
won for Maximilian a host of friends and supporters. The line of 
conduct which he pursued was most unacceptable to the Catholic 
nation of Mexico, whilst it was not in the least calculated to 
satisfy the revolutionary party. Refusing to concede everything 
that the church required, he wished to retain for himself the 
ancient regal privileges of the Crown of Spain — the investiture 
of bishops, the regulating of ecclesiastical tariffs, the limitation 
of the number of monastic orders and religious associations, &c. 
So far the revolution was pleased. It was loud in its applause. 
With what sincerity events failed not to show. Pius IX. insisted 
on the Emperor's solemn pledges so recently given at Rome. 
Maximilian was deaf to the counsels, the complaints, the earnest 
prayers of the Holy Father. So it remained only for the Papal 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


Nuncio, Monsignor Meglia, to take his departure from Vera Cruz 
(1st June, 1865). Meanwhile, Maximilian's chief support, the 
French Emperor, dreading the formidable hostility of the United 
States of America, which could not tolerate an empire on the 
borders of their great republic, was obliged to withdraw from 
Mexico the army which, from the first, was necessary to sustain 
the new empire. Napoleon, one would say, was pledged to 
Maximilian, having induced him to assume the Imperial Crown, 
and having also promised all necessary support. He could not, 
however, command success; and chivalry, even if it had still 
existed, would have availed but little, when power alone could 

Maximilian was now all alone, face to face with anarchy 
and the Mexican nation which he had slighted. Faction ruled 
in his place. The revolutionary party which he had favored 
proved untrue; and falling into the hands of his enemies, he was 
solemnly murdered by the ruling brigand of the day. The officers 
of Napoleon's army sincerely believed that no better fate could 
be anticipated; for they earnestly advised him to accompany 
them on their return to Europe. This he could have done without 
dishonor. The idea of a Mexican empire was Napoleon's, and he 
alone was answerable for its success. On the part of Maximilian 
it was more than chivalry to remain in Mexico when his guard 
was gone. But the idea of the youthful Prince in regard to honor 
appears to have been, like his policy, unsound. The policy may 
not have been, most probably was not, his. But the sentiment of 
honor was all his own. And although, in an age of chivalry even, 
it would have appeared exaggerated, it redounds to his credit. It 
is not surprising that a man animated by such noble sentiments 
should have died as became a hero and a Christian. 

The potentate, on whom, as far as worldly power was 
concerned, depended the Pope's temporal sovereignty, was 
throwing himself every day more and more into the hands 
of the enemies of the church. His ministers, more audacious than 


A further step 
towards the 

abolition of the 
Papal sovereignty. 

266 Pius IX. And His Time 

himself, carried their blind hatred of "Clericalism" to such an 
extent as to sacrifice many of the best supporters of the empire. 
[267] This was singularly apparent at the general election of 1863. 

M. de Persigny hesitated not to employ all the influence of the 
government against such Imperialists as had voted for or shown 
themselves favorable to the Pope's temporal power. He succeeded 
in causing such friends of Napoleon as De Caverville, Cochin 
and Lemercier to be replaced by the most bitter enemies of the 
Imperial regime. He also managed to exclude from parliament 
Messrs. de Montalembert, de Falloux and Keller. But Messrs. 
Plichou, Berryer and Thiers, notwithstanding his hostile efforts, 
were elected. This last-named statesman was himself a host, 
and his eloquent speeches in support of the temporal sovereignty 
made all the more impression that they were known to be dictated 
by far-seeing policy, rather than any leaning towards religion. 
They deeply impressed the parliament and the country; but 
availed not with Napoleon III., whom an unprincipled ministry 
were leading blindfolded to destruction. Meanwhile, the question 
of Rome entered on a new phase. The Cabinets of Turin and 
Paris concluded an agreement in regard to the Roman State on 
15th September, 1864. The text of this notorious agreement was 
known to Europe, whilst its meaning remained a mystery. The 
ministry of Napoleon III. made it appear in France as a guarantee 
for the safety of the Pope. The Piedmontese government flattered 
the revolutionary element of Italy, by representing that it did not 
in the least change their programme, the keynote of which was 
"Rome the Capital." They were right. This proved to be the true 
solution of the mystery. The first article provided that the King of 
Piedmont should not attack, and he bound himself by oath not to 
attack, the remaining territory of the Holy Father, to prevent by 
force, if necessary, all aggression from any other quarter, and to 
pay the debts of the former States of the Church. By the second 
clause France became bound to withdraw her troops in two years. 
A protocol was added, by which Victor Emmanuel engaged to 

Pius IX. And His Time. 267 

transfer his capital from Turin to Florence in six months. It was 
more than disrespectful to the Pope; it was of evil omen, of 
sinister import, that the sovereign whose state was concerned [268] 
was not a party to the treaty — was not even consulted. The minds 
of all Catholics were greatly disquieted, and their anxiety was 
only increased by the Italian interpretation of the agreement. Pius 
IX., who understood well by what men and by what principles 
the Cabinet of the Tuileries was governed, made a remark which 
indicated more his fears for the great French nation than for the 
fragment which remained to him of his territory. He would have 
nothing to do with the pecuniary compensation that was offered 
to him. He could only say that "he pitied France." The crime of 
that country was that her government made any agreement at all 
with the monarch who had so unscrupulously violated the treaty 
of Zurich, and who was, besides, the chief hero of Gaeta, Naples, 
Castelfidardo and Ancona. One of the most eloquent of Bishop 
Dupanloup's publications, the one which, perhaps, has been the 
most generally read, exposes the hollowness of this arrangement, 
which is known in history as the September agreement. 

The 8th of December, 1864, the tenth anniversary of the The Syllabus. 
proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, was 
marked by the publication of the Encyclical, "quanta cura," and, 
together with it, the "Syllabus." This great doctrinal act was a 
crushing reply to the erroneous assertions of the time, as well as to 
the vain ideas of those politicians who boasted that, through their 
efforts, the spiritual office no less than the temporal sovereignty 
of the Pope was drawing to a close. The Encyclical letter is 
addressed to all bishops in communion with the Holy See, and 
through them to all the faithful throughout the world. It contains 
the teachings of Pius IX., and the Popes, his predecessors, in 
opposition to the errors of the present age — the mistaken ideas of 
natural religion; religious indifference which, falsely assuming 
the name of liberty of conscience and of worship, establishes 
the reign of physical force in the place of law and justice; 

268 Pius IX. And His Time 

communism and socialism; the subjection of the church to the 
state; and the independence of Christians in regard to the Holy 
[269] See. 

The "Syllabus" consists of eighty propositions, which are a 
summary of the false teachings of the enemies of the Catholic 
church, as found in the periodical press, as well as in their writings 
of a more permanent character. The first seven propositions 
briefly express the errors on pantheism, naturalism, and absolute 
rationalism. All who have any Christian belief, to whatever 
denomination they may adhere, must surely acknowledge the 
justice of denouncing philosophers of the school of Strauss, 
who insist that Christ is a myth, and His religion a system of 

From the eighth to the fourteenth proposition inclusively, are 
pointed out and condemned the errors of modern rationalism. 
From the fourteenth to the eighteenth, indifferentism and 
latitudinarianism are exposed. Throughout the rest of the 
catalogue, secret societies and communism are condemned; 
erroneous views, as regards church and state, natural and 
Christian ethics, and Christian marriage are expressed and 
denounced. Finally, are pointed out the errors that have been 
uttered in regard to the temporal power of the Pope, together 
with such as have reference to modern liberalism. 

These important documents, the Encyclical, "quanta cura," 
and the "Syllabus," are not so much the work of Pius IX. as 
of all the Popes of a century back, from the Council of Pistoia, 
Febronianism and Josephism. Whilst the "Syllabus" was yet in 
embryo, it was, with the exception of a few propositions which 
were not yet formulated, confidentially communicated to the 
bishops on occasion of the canonization of the Japanese martyrs. 
Each bishop was at that time invited to select two theologians in 
order to examine the propositions, and give their opinion in six 
months. The church, therefore, was not taken by surprise, when 
the "Syllabus" appeared, however much its publication may have 

Pius IX. And His Time. 269 

struck with astonishment and alarm the party of revolution and 
unbelief. Catholics, at least, could not fail to be swayed by 
such a masterly exposition of Catholic theology on so many 
subjects, all intimately connected with human conduct in private 
life as well as in affairs of public import. And there were [270] 
Catholics everywhere — among the rulers of the world and its 
leading statesmen, no less than in all classes and grades of 
society. Such now could have no excuse for favoring opinions 
which were so distinctly condemned by that authority which they 
all recognized as the highest upon earth. Nevertheless, whatever 
impression the clear teaching of the "Syllabus," in regard to 
the church and her rights, civil society, and both natural and 
Christian morality, was destined, in time, to produce, but little 
disposition was shown to be guided by it at the outset. There 
was all but a universal clamor that the church had pronounced 
a divorce between modern society and the spiritual order. Nor 
could it be otherwise, so long as the former held principles which 
were essentially incompatible with the latter. Neither could 
reconciliation be easily or speedily brought about. The principles 
which religion condemned were in the ascendant. The existing 
civil law of all European nations was founded on them. There 
was no government that had not adopted them and shown itself 
inclined to be entirely guided by them. The formal condemnation 
of the cherished ideas of the age was as a thunderbolt hurled 
against the social elements of the day. But why disturb their 
peace? They had no peace. They were already discordant. "Non 
esi pax impiis." Peace could not be born of unbelief. It could 
come only through the truth, even as health conquers disease by 
the most trying curative process. Napoleon III. was the first who 
openly resisted the "encroachments" of Rome, just as if they had 
constituted the only danger to his throne. By a decree dated 1st 
January, 1865, he forbade the publication of the Encyclical and 
the Syllabus, whilst he caused to be tried and condemned, as 
guilty of abuse, the Archbishop of Besancon and the Bishop of 

270 Pius IX. And His Time 

Moulins, because they had read the Encyclical in their pulpits. 
The other prelates of France so far submitted as to avoid printing 
the obnoxious documents, lest their printers should be uselessly 
compromised. Several bishops declared that the Encyclical was 
[271] already sufficiently published in their dioceses by the voice of 

the press. They thus expressed the idea of the whole episcopate. 
Pius IX. highly commended their zeal. "We must go back," 
he said, "to the early ages of Christianity, in order to find an 
episcopal body that could show such courage." 

To persons accustomed to theological studies, it is sufficiently 
apparent why each proposition of the "Syllabus" stands 
condemned. To others, cause is shown in the consistorial 
allocutions, Encyclical and other letters apostolical of the Holy 
Father, in relation to each proposition. Some things must be 
interpreted by the conduct of the Pope himself. For instance, 
what is said in regard to the liberty of public worship and of the 
press must be read in the light of that reasonable tolerance which 
the Popes were accustomed to exercise when they ruled at Rome 
as sovereign Princes. There is no liberty without some restraint. 
The press, in this respect, is in the same position as individuals. 
According to the laws of all civilized lands, when it abuses its 
liberty and commits crime, it is visited with severe punishment. 
The greater liberty which the press enjoys, and must enjoy, in 
the present circumstances of the world, by no means clashes with 
the condemnation of proposition 79 of the "Syllabus." The press 
can no more be free to publish anything whatsoever, however 
offensive it may be, than persons are free to perform such acts as 
necessarily subject them, even in states where there is the greatest 
attainable degree of liberty, to condemnation and punishment. 
If every organized community possesses, as it certainly does 
possess, the right so to stigmatize an offending citizen, and that 
without any violation of liberty, it is equally entitled to judge and 
punish an offending press. 
Successful efforts Not satisfied with the blow which so greatly weakened Austria 

of Napoleon III. to 
humble Austria. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 27 1 

in the Italian campaign, Napoleon III. plotted with Prussia for a 
further humbling of the great Catholic Power. To this end he held 
dark consultations with Count Bismark, at Biarritz, as he had 
formerly done with Count de Cavour at Plombieres. The former, 
however, proved to be more than a match for him. Hence the [272] 
great victory of Sadowa which paved the way for Sedan. Prussia, 
without a rival in Germany, could freely pursue her ambitious 
schemes. Napoleon, apparently suspecting nothing, left the Rhine 
frontier comparatively unprotected; and Prussia, victorious in the 
struggle with Austria, refused to France all compensation for her 
complicity and encouragement. This hindered not Napoleon from 
taking part in the treaty of Prague, as president, and sanctioning 
by his signature the expulsion of Austria from Germany, and the 
confiscation of Hanover, Nassau, the two Hesses and other small 
independent sovereignties, in the interest of Prussia. This Power, 
besides, assumed the military direction of Southern Germany, 
and so was, literally, doubled in extent and population. Thus was 
swept away in the course of seven years, through the agency of 
Napoleon III., the barrier of small states which the wisdom of 
ages had placed along the continental frontier of France, from 
the Mediterranean to the ocean, and which moderated the shocks 
of the greater Powers. France, accordingly, by her own act, was 
confined between unified Italy on the one hand, and on the other, 
the formidable German Empire. 

In exchange for combinations which proved so disastrous, 
Venice was ceded to Napoleon, and immediately made over by 
him to Italy. Defeated both by sea and land in his struggle with 
Austria, Victor Emmanuel, nevertheless, accepted the present, 
as if it had come to him by conquest, and Italy was free to 
the Adriatic, and the celebrated Milan programme of 1859 
completely carried out. This result, whilst it flattered the vanity 
of Napoleon III., crowned the wishes of the secret societies. 
Protestants, Jews, Freemasons, and people of all shades of 
unbelief, deputies of the French left, and the revolutionary 


Pius IX. And His Time 


Pius IX. devoted to 
the duties of his 
spiritual office. 

1859. John Baptist 
de Rossi. 

journals, all zealous in the service of Prussia, enthusiastically 
applauded. The French Emperor's ministers, even, M. Rouher, 
in the Legislative Chamber, and M. de Lavalette, in a diplomatic 
circular, were not ashamed to congratulate themselves publicly 
on the stipulations of the treaty of Prague. In their mania for 
Italian unity, these wise statesmen became blind to the interests of 
their own country — condign punishment, surely, of their disloyal 
and unprincipled policy. 

Whilst the political world was extraordinarily agitated, and a 
great potentate was endeavoring to destroy the last remnant of 
Papal sovereignty, and was himself at the same time, hastening 
blindly but surely to ignominy and ruin, the Pontiff against whom 
he warred calmly and successfully continued to accomplish the 
sublime work of his spiritual mission. 

Nothing tends more to the instruction and edification of the 
Catholic people than the canonization of saints and martyrs. But 
for the care which the church bestows in bringing to light the 
acts and sufferings of those heroes of the Christian faith, many of 
them, remaining unknown, would be lost as examples to the rest 
of mankind. It is also due to the saints themselves that the church 
should honor them, although, indeed, earthly celebrity and true 
fame which lasts throughout all time is as nothing compared to the 
glory which they enjoy. John Baptist de Rossi (de Rubses) was a 
canon of the Collegiate Basilica of Saint Mary, in cosmedin. The 
venerable John Baptist de Rossi was in every respect a worthy 
minister of God. He labored last century at Rome, in the vineyard 
of the Lord, with so much, patience, longanimity and meekness, 
and was so filled with the Holy Ghost and sincere charity, that he 
spent his whole life in evangelizing the poor, to the great gain of 
souls. He instructed others unto righteousness, and God willed 
that he should shine for evermore as a star in the firmament. 
And not only was he crowned with light in heaven, in order 
that, transformed to the Divine image, he should appear in God's 
presence environed with heavenly splendor; but God, through 

Pius IX. And His Time. 273 

His unspeakable bounty, appointed that His servant, enriched by 
an abundant harvest of merits, illustrated by triumphal honors, 
and glorified by miracles, should also enjoy upon earth a name [274] 
glorious in the estimation of mankind, and should thus be a new 
ornament to the church militant. The process of canonization 
was commenced in the time of Gregory XVI., and completed 
by Pius IX., when in March, 1859, the name of John Baptist de 
Rossi was inscribed on the sacred diptychs. 

John Sarcander was born at Skoczovia, in Upper Silesia, in the John Sarcander. 
year 1577. He obeyed the call of God and joined the ranks of the 
priesthood. When ordained priest, he showed himself in every 
way a pattern of excellence — by his good works, his science, 
the integrity and gravity of his character. He was appointed, 
accordingly, to the charge and guidance of souls. He fulfilled so 
well all the duties of a good pastor that the four parishes to which 
he was successively called by episcopal authority received him 
as an angel sent to them from heaven, and bore witness by their 
tears to their regret when they were deprived of his presence. 
Meanwhile, the ministers of the sect of Pikardites were driven 
from the parish of Holleschow, where the scourge of heresy, 
like the wild boar of the forests, had spread devastation during 
eight years. John Sarcander was selected in order to repair the 
incalculable evil that had been done to that unfortunate vineyard. 
He shrunk not from the struggle which it behooved him to 
maintain in the cause of the true faith. He was in every sense an 
example to his flock. He exhorted, beseeched, reprimanded with 
patience and wisdom, neglecting nothing that was calculated 
to strengthen whatever was weak and heal what was sick, to 
reunite those who were separated, to raise up the fallen and seek 
such as were astray. Such exemplary conduct only excited the 
extreme hatred of the heretical party, and he was obliged to leave 
Holleschow and retire to Poland. But moved by the dangers 
to which were exposed the people whom he loved so dearly 
in Christ, he returned to his parish, after having venerated the 

274 Pius IX. And His Time 

Holy Virgin at her shrine of Crenstochow, in fulfilment of a vow 
which he had made. Soon after his return the heretics cast him 
into prison as a traitor to his country, but, in reality, on account 

[275] of his zeal in preaching the Catholic faith. He was subjected 

to vigorous interrogatories, and in order to induce him to reveal 
what the supreme head of the administration in Moravia had 
confided to him in confession, he was made to undergo the most 
exquisite torture. Preferring a glorious death to a miserable life, 
he combated to his last breath for the work of Christ, and gave up 
his soul to God, leaving to all the people the remembrance of his 
death as an example of fortitude and courage. Fearfully tortured 
on the rack for three hours, burned slowly in almost every part 
of his body, by torches and bundles of feathers steeped in rosin, 
oil, pitch and sulphur, he was carried back almost lifeless to his 
prison. There he lingered a whole month, suffering more than the 
pain of death, whilst his mind and heart were so fixed on God that 
he ceased not to sing His praises as long as life remained. He fell 
asleep in the Lord, the sixteenth of the calends of April, 1620. It 
was not appointed that such heroic suffering should be doomed 
to oblivion. Public report, the witness of contemporary writers, 
the monuments of the time, and the splendor of miracles caused 
them to be so celebrated that, notwithstanding the wars, losses 
and other impediments which had prevented the Archbishops 
of Olmutz from considering this grand and beautiful cause, and 
reporting it to the Holy See sooner than the 18th century, the 
sanctity and martyrdom of the venerable John Sarcander were not 
only known to the populations of Moravia and the neighboring 
countries, but were also remembered with the most profound 
veneration. From 1754 till the time of Pius IX., this celebrated 
cause was before the church, and subjected to the usual searching 
investigation. Finally, in February, 1859, it was concluded, and 
the blessed John Sarcander recognized, as a saint and martyr, by 

[276] the universal church. 

Benedict Joseph This same year, 1859, was canonized the venerable servant 


Pius IX. And His Time. 


of God, Benedict Joseph Labre, of the diocese of Boulogne. 
Voluntary poverty was the lot in life of this saint of modern 
times. Worldly wisdom condemns as folly, the choice of this 
devoted Christian who preferred to all earthly advantages the 
most abject poverty. God is, indeed, wonderful in His saints; and 
as He often chooses what is folly in the estimation of the world, 
in order to confound what it holds to be wise, so He appointed 
that the humble Labre who, for the love of Christ, led a life of 
poverty, and taught mankind the excellence of self-denial in an 
unbelieving and selfish age, should be exalted, even upon earth, 
and ranked among the princes of God's people. In June, 1842, 
Gregory XVI. declared, by a solemn decree, that Benedict Joseph 
Labre had practised, in a heroic degree, all the Christian virtues. 
The necessary investigations and formalities were continued, 
and in September, 1859, Pius IX. ordained that apostolic letters 
should be issued, ordering the celebration of the solemn rite of 
his beatification in the Patriarchal Basilica of the Vatican. 

The year 1859 was also marked by the solicitude of Pius IX. 
for the Church of Ireland. In a letter to the archbishops and 
bishops of that country, he commends their zeal in promoting 
Catholic education, and concurs with them in pointing out the 
dangers of mixed schools. In the same letter the Holy Father 
earnestly entreats the venerable pastors of the Irish Church to 
pray that the designs of the wicked may not succeed, that it 
would please God to bring to naught the machinations of those 
misguided men who, by their false teachings, endeavor to corrupt 
the people everywhere, and to overthrow, if that were possible, 
the Catholic religion. At the same time, it was appointed that 
the feast of Saint Patrick, the Patron Saint of Ireland, should be 
celebrated according to a higher rite. 

The anti-President Juarez had succeeded in establishing 
himself at Vera Cruz, whilst Miramon was recognized by Mexico, 
after General Zuloago, as the successor of Santa Anna. Juarez 
was a revolutionist and persecutor of the church; Miramon, a 


schools — Ireland. 


Troubles of the 
Church in Mexico. 

276 Pius IX. And His Time 

conservative and friend of religion. As proof of the tyranny of 
the former, may be cited a decree which he published in July 
of this year (1859). This decree, which aimed at nothing less 
than the destruction of religion, and was, at the same time, a 
cruel outrage on the Catholic nation of Mexico, accounts for the 
earnestness and determination with which Pius IX., a little later, 
as has already been shown, insisted that the Emperor Maximilian 
should adopt a policy friendly to the church, and in harmony with 
the wishes of the great majority of the Mexican people. Such 
policy, if only followed in time, would have so strengthened the 
hands of Maximilian that, in all probability, he would have been 
able to hold his ground when most unchivalrously abandoned by 
his faint-hearted ally. No doubt the anti-president claimed that 
he was a reformer of the church. And surely, indeed, he was, if it 
was reform to suppress all religious societies whatsoever, to rob 
the clergy of their property, and that so completely as to reduce 
them to mendicancy. But let the decree speak for itself: 

Art. 1. All property administered under divers titles, by the 
regular or secular clergy, whether real or personal, whatever its 
name or object, is henceforth the property of the nation. 

Art. 3. There shall be complete independence between affairs 
of state and such as are purely ecclesiastical. The government 
will confine itself to protecting the public worship of the Catholic 
religion the same as any other religion. 

Art. 4. The ministers of religion can accept such offerings 
as may be made on account of the administration of the 
sacraments and the other duties of their office. They may 
also, by an agreement with those who employ them, stipulate for 
remuneration for their services. But in no case can these offerings 
[278] or this remuneration be converted into permanent property. 

Art. 5. All religious orders, whatever their name or their 
object, are suppressed throughout the whole republic, as well 
as confraternities or associations connected with a religious 
community or any church whatsoever. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 277 

The 6th article, whilst it prohibits the erection of new convents 
and new confraternities, forbids also the use of the religious habit. 


A new joy awaited the Holy Father. The year 1867 will be ever 
memorable in sacred annals, as the year of the great centennial 
celebration of the glorious martrydom of SS. Peter and Paul. 
"Peter went to Rome," St. Jerome writes, "in the second year of 
the Emperor Claudius, and occupied there the priestly chair for 
twenty-five years." On the same venerable authority it is known 
that Peter suffered two years after the death of the great Roman 
philosopher, Seneca, who was executed by order of Nero in the 
sixty-fifth year of the Christian era. In the same work ide viris 
illustribus), St. Jerome says that SS. Peter and Paul were put to 
death in the fourteenth year of Nero's reign, which corresponds 
with the sixty-seventh year of our era, when reckoned from the 
first of January, and not from the 13th October, the date of Nero's 

The French troops had scarcely been withdrawn from Rome 
in fulfilment of the September agreement, when Pius IX. invited 
all the clergy and people of the Catholic world to visit the 
city in order to participate in the celebration of the centenary, 
and witness the canonization of several holy persons long since 
deceased. Their names were Josaphat, the martyr Archbishop of 
Solotsk; Pedro de Arbues, an Augustinian friar; the martyrs of 
Gorcum; Paul of the Cross, founder of the Passionists; Leonardo 
di Porto Maurizio; Maria Francesca, a Neapolitan of the third 
order of St. Peter of Alcantara, and Germaine Cousin, of the 
diocese of Toulouse. Shortly before, in the preceding December, 
the Holy Father enjoyed the great happiness of celebrating, [279] 
with even more than ordinary solemnity, the beatification of 
the Franciscan Monk, Benedict of Urbino, who died in odor 
of sanctity, at Fossombrone, in 1625, within a few miles of 

278 Pius IX. And His Time 

Sinigaglia, the birthplace of the Pope, leaving the whole country 
bordering on the Adriatic and the province of Umbria in a manner 
embalmed by a life of sanctity and extraordinary self-denial. Pius 
IX., from early youth, was familiar with the history of this saint, 
whose noble birth and distinguished abilities opened to him the 
way to worldly fame and prosperity, but who, nevertheless, chose 
the cross, becoming a Capuchin, and having no other ambition 
in the seclusion of the cloister than to be a worthy disciple of his 
crucified Saviour. 

It was by no means to indulge his own pious feelings, or to 
gratify the clergy and Catholic people, that the venerable Pontiff 
invited so many from Italy and all parts of the Christian world to 
take part with him in celebrating these canonizations, and, at the 
same time, the eighteen hundredth anniversary of the martyrdom 
of the blessed Apostles, the founders of the Church. His object 
was to edify, to place in contrast with, and in opposition to, the 
worldly and unbelieving spirit of the time the teachings and the 
solemn offices of religion, together with the power of holiness, 
so admirably shown forth in the lives and glory of the saints. 
The revolution aimed at nothing less than the destruction of 
everything spiritual. It was good for it to be taught that true 
spirituality is beyond its reach. 

It would hardly be fair to contrast as purely worldly the 
grand exposition at Paris, the World's Fair, with the religious 
celebrations at Rome. The rich and varied display of the objects 
of art and industry, in the beautiful capital of France, was the 
result of an advanced Christian civilization. It was recognized 
as such by the greatest statesmen, the ablest men of science, 
and the wisest rulers of the age. No doubt it savored more 
of the world and of things worldly than the festivals at Rome. 
[280] But the holy city bore it no grudge. It was other powers and 

other arts than those which furnished out so grandly the Parisian 
exposition against which Rome waged perpetual war. A Roman, 
let it not be forgotten, and not the least pious among the Romans, 

Pius IX. And His Time. 279 

the illustrious scientist, Father Secchi, whose recent decease the 
world laments, took the highest honors at the great industrial and 
artistic fair. 

Paris, indeed, was in contrast with Rome, but more by 
its materialist philosophy than by its magnificent exhibition 
of material improvements. This philosophy availed itself of 
the exposition in order to show to what extent it prevailed; 
and Paris extolled mere worldly power, luxury, comfort and 
voluptuousness, whilst Rome had no praise but for humility, 
poverty, self-denial, chastity. Paris applauded Alexander II., 
who massacred the Poles; Rome, on the other hand, did honor to 
a Polish bishop, Joseph Kunicievicz, who was cruelly murdered 
by Russian fanaticism. Paris celebrated the apotheosis of free- 
thinking and religious indifference; Rome, on the contrary, 
heaped honors on an Inquisitor, Peter dArbues, who suffered 
martyrdom. Paris was loud in her acclamations to the potentates 
and conquerors of the day, whilst Rome exalted an humble 
shepherdess, Germaine Cousin, and some poor and obscure 
monks who were hanged by heretics three hundred years ago, in 
a small town of Holland. Yet was not Paris distinguished only 
by material glories, nor was Rome altogether free from the taint 
of modern worldliness. There were those in the latter city who, 
in the midst of an atmosphere of pious thought, plotted deeds of 
diabolic wickedness, whilst Paris, which honored the arts, was 
not without sympathy at Rome, and her prelates, the bishops of 
France, were far from being the least among those five hundred 
high dignitaries, twenty thousand priests of God's Church, and 
more than one hundred and fifty thousand Christian people from 
all quarters of the known world, who took part in celebrating the 
glorious centenary and the no less glorious victory of more than 
two hundred martyrs. The display of art, industry and modern 
improvements of very kind presented, indeed, in the midst of 
the beautiful French capital, a magnificent and cheering sight. [281] 
It was nothing, however, to the moral spectacle afforded by the 

280 Pius IX. And His Time 

presence of ten or twelve mighty sovereigns around the now 
Imperial author of the coup d'etat. It was supremely worldly. 
Who would then have said that William of Prussia, and Napoleon 
III., the Czar of Russia, and the successor of the caliphs, who, 
at the exhibition fetes, joined hands in apparent friendship, were 
so soon to be engaged in deadly strife? and that that capital, 
where so many great potentates came to honor Napoleon, should, 
in a year or two, know him no more, and even struggle with 
all the energy of desperation to obliterate every vestige of the 
improvements with which he had so enriched and beautified the 
city? This was the world; for the world is insincere. This was the 
world; for the figure thereof passeth quickly away. 

In Rome it was not so. There art and religion walked hand 
in hand. Religion fostered art. Art was dutiful, and repaid the 
boon. It became the handmaid of religion. Everywhere within 
the walls of her temples were seen the products of art's filial 
labor, in sculpture, painting, poetry and music, her inexhaustible 
treasury of thought and history ever presenting new sources of 
artistic power to the hand of genius. Those temples themselves 
being, indeed, the finest monuments of architecture, bear glorious 
witness to the excellent union of art and religion. Worldliness, 
on the other hand, when at the height of its passion against 
religion, seeks to destroy all the creations of art and genius. It 
aims at nothing less than to reduce mankind to the condition of 
the savage, and is not ashamed to acknowledge that such is its 

Let us hear the testimony of the Roman artists. This body, on 
the one hand, rejoiced in the coming celebration of the centenary; 
on the other, they were filled with sad forebodings as to the 
approaching downfall of the Papal sovereignty by the threats 
of Garibaldi and the predictions of Mazzini. They resolved, 
therefore, whilst yet the Pope, who, like his predecessors, 
[282] had shown them much kindness, and munificently rewarded 

their labors, reigned at Rome, to present to him a dutiful and 

Pius IX. And His Time. 28 1 

affectionate address, which should remain, in time to come, as a 
testimony of their gratitude to that beneficent sovereignty which 
they had but too much reason to fear would soon come to an end. 
This address is so important and tells so much truth, that it is 
deserving of a place in all histories. It is as follows: "Most Holy 
Father, religion, policy and mere human wisdom have protested 
in favor of the temporal power of the Papacy. The arts come, in 
their turn, to lay their homage at the feet of your Holiness, and to 
proclaim to the world that this power is to them indispensable. 
Their voice must be heard and listened to. For when the tide of 
generations recedes, the arts remain as the irrefutable witnesses 
of the power and splendor of the civilization amid which these 
generations lived. The sovereigns who encourage and develop 
them acquire immortal renown; those who neglect or oppress 
them meet only with the contempt of posterity. What royal 
dynasty has in this respect deserved so well of civilization and 
humanity as that of the Sovereign Pontiffs? They have been 
the watchful guardians of the master-pieces bequeathed to us by 
antiquity. They have given these a home in their own palaces to 
show that religion adopts and ennobles all that is truly beautiful. 
It is the Sovereign Pontiffs who, by opening new avenues for 
modern art, have brought it to the point of perfection, embodied 
in the master-pieces of Raphael and Michael Angelo. They alone 
support in Rome that unique assemblage of all that is beautiful 
in every order, that splendid intellectual galaxy in whose light 
the artists of every land are formed. Holy Father, the little spot 
of earth which the revolution has not yet taken from you is the 
only place in which the arts find the inspiration that is for them 
the breath of life, and the quiet without which that life cannot 
expand. The soul of the true artist is filled with unspeakable 
apprehension by the possibility of seeing these master-pieces 
destroyed or scattered abroad, these treasures plundered, all this 
wealth annihilated; and especially by the danger of seeing the 
ungraceful and meagre forms of modern utilitarianism usurp the [283] 

282 Pius IX. And His Time 

place held by the manners, the habits, the face of all things in 
this privileged land of beauty, all consecrated by the admiration 
of ages. Alas! Holy Father, what is happening in the rest of 
Italy affords but too firm a ground for such apprehensions. The 
genius of destruction is abroad there, and proceeds to sweep away 
pitilessly what was the glory of ancient Italy. The spoliation and 
suppression of the religious orders are one of the most deadly 
blows ever aimed at the existence of the fine arts. Saddened by 
those forebodings, fearful of what the future may bring forth, 
the artists resident in Rome come to the feet of your Holiness 
to give utterance to their deep conviction that the splendor, 
the greatness, the very existence of the fine arts in Europe are 
inseparably connected with the maintenance of the beneficent 
power of the Sovereign Pontiffs. Were it not that the rival 
passions which divide Europe are of themselves fatally blind to 
consequences, the reign of your Holiness would suffice to render 
this truth evident to all. For while elsewhere national wealth is 
wasted in frivolous undertakings, or in preparing instruments of 
destruction, the modest revenues inherited by your Holiness are 
ever employed in continuing gloriously the noble labor of your 
predecessors. On the one hand, you have drawn from obscurity 
the beginnings of Christian art, thereby affording it new and 
precious data; on the other, you have adorned Rome and the 
Vatican with works which furnish a new and brilliant page to 
the grand history of art embodied in the Vatican itself. While 
elsewhere reigned trouble and agitation, here artists were able, 
beneath the blessed sway of your Holiness, to enjoy a kindly 
welcome, an unrestrained liberty, and the peaceful contemplation 
of those venerable structures and sites preserved so happily by the 
Pontifical government from the sad alterations blindly wrought in 
other cities by the troublous life of modern communities. May the 
Almighty One hear our prayer, and persuade both sovereigns and 
nations that their honor and glory will be measured, in coming 
[284] ages, on the degree of protection they shall have afforded to the 

Pius IX. And His Time. 283 

temporal power of the Papacy, which has ever been the unwearied 
promoter of the development of all the noblest faculties in man, 
and which alone can continue to be the custodian of the works 
of art originated by itself, and by it so faithfully treasured for the 
benefit of all peoples!" This eloquent address will ever remain 
carefully guarded by history, a noble monument of gratitude, 
and not only this, but also as a testimony, all the more valuable 
as it is the spontaneous utterance of men of the most cultivated 
intellect, in favor of that sovereignty the destruction of which 
was sought, and has been accomplished, by a party in whose 
ranks could be counted only rude soldiers, bands of filibusters 
and politicians, if such they could be called, whose counsels 
were inspired, not by the wisdom which distinguishes statesmen, 
but by blind passion, and the most unworthy of all passions, 
the passion of hatred — hatred of everything connected with the 
Christian faith. 

The great centennial celebration proceeded. Who would have 
dared to say, whilst Nero reigned at Rome, and Christians were 
as pariahs, tolerated only in order to afford the spectacle of their 
tortures to a heathen multitude, that eighteen hundred years from 
Nero's time, Christianity would flourish and celebrate in that 
city, which was the scene of its greatest trials, as well as all over 
the world, its victory and the glorious martyrdom of its apostolic 
founders! The month of June, 1867, will ever be memorable in 
the annals of the church. Never had so many bishops assembled 
in the holy city. Nor were there ever there, at one time, so many 
priests and pilgrims of all ranks and classes. The duties of the 
time were commenced early in the month. On the 1 1th and 12th of 
June, consistories were held in presence of the bishops, in order 
to make preparation for the canonization of two hundred and 
five Japanese Christians — priests, catechists, laymen, women 
and children — put to death in hatred of the Christian faith, from 
1617 to 1632. On the 26th of February, 1867, the decree of 
canonization had already been solemnly read in presence of Pius [285] 

284 Pius IX. And His Time 

IX., who, on the occasion, went in state to the Roman College. 
On the 22nd February of the same year, the Holy Father signed 
decrees bearing on the beatification of several holy persons, 
among whom was Clement Maria Hofbauer, a Redemptorist. In 
an age of unbelief, it was only to be expected that the enquiry 
should be made why the Pope made so many saints? 

In February, 1867, his Holiness replied, on occasion of a visit 
to the Convent of the Capuchin Friars: "I have been shown," said 
he, "a pamphlet, entitled 'Why so many Saints?' Had we ever so 
much need of intercessors in heaven and patterns in this world?" 
A little later he also said, alluding to the festivals at Paris: "Man 
has not been placed on the earth solely in order to amass wealth; 
still less in order to lead a life of pleasure. The world is ignorant 
of this. It forgets mind, and devotes itself to matter. Neither you 
nor I are this world of which I speak. You are come here in the 
good disposition to seek the edification of your souls. I hope, 
therefore, that you will bear away with you a salutary impression. 
Never forget, my children, that you have a soul, a soul created in 
the image of God, and which God will judge. Bestow on it more 
thought and care than on industrial speculations, railways, and 
all those lesser objects which constitute the good things of this 
world. I forbid you not to interest yourselves in such transient 
matters. Do so reasonably and moderately. But let me once more 
beg of you to remember that you have a soul." 

None of the ten or twelve potentates who visited Paris came 
to Rome. But their absence was amply made up for by the 
immense concourse of clergy and people from every quarter of 
the civilized world. The reverence shown to Pius IX. by so 
many prelates was truly admirable. A Chinese bishop, Mgr. 
Languillat, Vicar-apostolic of Nankin, coming for the first time 
into the presence of the Supreme Pastor, fell prostrate on the 
threshold, and with his arms extended towards the Pontiff, began 
[286] to exclaim: "Tu es PetrusH ("Thou art Peter!") 

"Come to me, my brother," said the Holy Father. "Tu es 

Pius IX. And His Time. 285 

Petrus!" replied the Chinese bishop, "Tu es Petrus!" Needless to 
say that when he approached the venerable Pontiff affectionately 
embraced him, whilst both gave vent to their feelings in tears. 
The laity of all ranks and classes were no less devoted. A 
very moving scene which was witnessed this same year (1867) 
is beautifully described by the Protestant correspondent of the 
London Morning Post: "It is truly delightful to meet Pius IX. in 
the country on foot, walking faster than one would suppose his 
age could allow, his majestic person arrayed in a white soutane, 
and protected by a large broad-brimmed purple hat. The other 
day, when I was at Aricia, he was proceeding towards Genzano, 
followed by his guards and his carriage. The ex-Queen of Naples 
and the Infanta, lately Regent, were walking in the opposite 
direction, followed by their equipages and domestics. At a turn 
of the road, exactly below the Villa Chigi, the two groups met. In 
a moment their Royal Majesties were on their knees. His Holiness 
quickened his pace in order to raise them up. The peasants of 
the neighborhood, who were returning from their vineyards and 
orchards, together with their wives and daughters, were struck 
with admiration. They also advanced and knelt on each side of 
the central group formed by the illustrious personages, calling 
out with all their might: 'Santo Padre, la benedizione. 7 'Holy 
Father, your benediction!' It was a splendid tableau." 

On occasion of the centennial, substantial proofs of 
devotedness abounded. The numerous pilgrims not only gave 
the homage of their faith, but also brought magnificent offerings, 
as Peter's pence, and presented addresses with millions of 
signatures. One day fifteen hundred Italians were received 
at an audience of the Holy Father, and made the offering of a 
monumental album, together with one hundred purses filled with 
gold, as the homage of one hundred Italian cities. Cardinal 
Manning laid at the feet of Pius IX. £30,000 — a generous 
testimony of English piety. The Cardinal Archbishop of Mechlin 
brought to the centenary celebration £16,000, the Archbishop [287] 

286 Pius IX. And His Time 

of Posen £20,000, and the Mexican archbishop £12,000, whilst 
Cuba offered 100,000 douros. "We are reversing the order 
of nature," smilingly observed the Holy Father; "here are the 
children supporting the Father." Nor was it too much for the wants 
of such a Father. He received with one hand and generously 
dispensed with the other. He took charge himself to lodge and 
entertain eighty-five of the poorer bishops from Italy, the East, 
and remote missions. None of these were allowed to depart 
without receiving abundant aid for their diocesan good works. 

Festival followed festival at Rome, from the 20th June till 
the 7th of July. On the former day was celebrated the grand 
solemnity of Corpus Christi. The Pope himself bore the holy 
sacrament, kneeling and surrounded by the greater half of the 
whole Christian episcopate. It was remarked that he was as calm 
and collected in the midst of such a great and imposing multitude 
as if he had been in his private oratory. The vast assemblage was 
also rapt in silent contemplation. Not a sound was heard save the 
murmur of the fountains. An eye-witness has observed that if one 
closed his eyes he could imagine himself in a desert. Next day was 
celebrated the 21st anniversary of the coronation of Pius IX. He 
had already said, in reply to an address read by Cardinal Patrizi, 
when all the visitors to Rome were assembled on occasion of the 
commemoration of his election — 10th June — "Modern society is 
ardent in the pursuit of two things, progress, and unity. It fails 
to reach either, because its motive principles are selfishness and 
pride. Pride is the worst enemy of progress, and selfishness by 
destroying charity, the bond of souls, thereby rendering union 
impossible. Now God Himself has established the Sovereign 
Pontiff in order to direct and enlighten society, to point out evil 
and indicate the proper remedy. This induced me, some years 
ago, to publish the 'Syllabus.' I now confirm that solemn act in 
your presence. It is to be, henceforth, the rule of your teaching. 
We have to contend, unceasingly, with the enemies who beset 
[288] us. Placed on the mountain-top like Moses, I lift up my hands 

Pius IX. And His Time. 287 

to God in prayer for the triumph of the church. I ask of you, my 
brother bishops, to support my arms, for they grow weary. Take 
courage! The church must triumph. I leave this hope in your 
hearts, not as a hope merely, but as a prophecy." 

On the 23rd was consecrated the Church of St. Mary of the 
Angels, an admirable architectural monument, built originally 
according to the plans of Michael Angelo, and rebuilt by Pius IX. 
The 24th, on leaving the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the Pope 
was the object of a more splendid ovation than any, perhaps, that 
he had as yet received. Kneeling on the vast place, and completely 
filling it, the multitude which had not been able to enter the 
Basilica waited for the Pontifical benediction. After the Holy 
Father had raised his hand and pronounced the words of blessing, 
the whole people rose, and, by a simultaneous movement and 
with one voice, replied: "Live Pius IX.! Live the Pope-King!" 
Arms and handkerchiefs waved amidst a rain of beautiful flowers. 
The Pope's carriage was detained a considerable time, and he 
himself, accustomed as he was to the demonstrations of a devoted 
people, was moved to tears. His hood was almost taken to pieces, 
thread by thread, by French ecclesiastics who were close behind 
his Holiness, and who deposited the fragments, as precious relics, 
in their breviaries. The crowd thronged around the Holy Father 
and continued their acclamations as far as the Vatican, a distance 
of three miles. Every new day gave proof of a like enthusiasm. 

Pius IX. was anxious to address words of encouragement to 
the twenty thousand priests of the church who had come to 
Rome. The greatness of their number was a serious hindrance 
to this laudable purpose. The spacious consistorial hall was by 
far too small to contain so many. On the 25th of June, however, 
they came to the hall, crowding its approaches, the passages, the 
great staircase and the outer court. The Holy Father, desiring 
to show his respect and affection for so many pilgrims of the 
sacred order of the priesthood, came to the assembly in more [289] 
than usual state. The throne was raised a few steps, in order to 

288 Pius IX. And His Time 

afford an opportunity of seeing and hearing the Supreme Pastor. 
The Pontiff was preceded by the noble guard and the household 
prelates. As he entered the hall, loud and joyous acclamations 
burst from the assembled priesthood, for whom it was impossible 
to restrain their feelings of love and veneration. The Holy Father 
himself was deeply moved, and, gathering enthusiasm from the 
unusual scene around him, spoke so as to be heard even in the 
remotest corridors, whilst those at a still greater distance were 
visibly moved by the thrilling tones of his sonorous voice. There 
are no readers who will not be interested in the words which 
fell from the lips of the Sovereign Pontiff on this unique and 
solemn occasion. He began by thanking the assembled clergy for 
their attendance in such imposing numbers. They were the tribe 
in Israel, he continued, whose special inheritance was the Lord. 
They stood between him and his people evermore, offering with 
prayer and supplication the spotless victim of the new law. Let 
them look well to the ministry entrusted to them, shining in the 
presence of all men by the dignity of their bearing, the innocence 
of their life, by integrity and charity, and the golden ornaments 
of every virtue. "You," he said, "who are the interpreters of 
the word of God, you must preach it unweariedly to the wise 
and the unwise. Preach to them Christ and Him crucified, not 
in loftiness of speech, but in the knowledge of the spirit, never 
ceasing to call into the right road all who stray, and confirm them 
in sound doctrine. Dispensers of the divine mysteries and of the 
manifold grace of God, deal it out to the faithful people, to the 
sick especially, in order that no help may fail them in their last 
struggle with the evil one. Do not refuse to the little ones of 
the flock the milk which they need. Let it be your dearest care 
to teach them, to train them, to form them. Be the faithful and 
devoted helpmates of your respective bishops; obeying them in 
all things, zealous to heal in your parishes whatever is ailing, to 
[290] bind up what is broken, to raise up what is fallen, to seek what 

is lost, in order that in all things God may be honored through 

Pius IX. And His Time. 289 

our Lord Jesus Christ. Lift up your souls and contemplate the 
immeasurable height of glory prepared by him for all true and 
faithful laborers." 

On the 26th a great public consistory was held. The five 
hundred bishops then at Rome were invited to attend. So great 
a number had never before assembled in Italy or any part of 
Western Christendom. Nor indeed was there ever, or could there 
ever have been, so great an occasion for their assembling. There 
was question of celebrating the eighteen hundredth anniversary 
of the glorious martyrdom of Rome's first great bishop, so many 
prelates had come together, also in order to venerate Peter in 
the person of his venerable successor, who had now so long 
and so gloriously borne witness to the Truth — the Truth in its 
plenitude, as first committed to Peter and his fellow-apostles. 
The world was no longer heathen, and no Nero reigned, but the 
spirit of unbelief was abroad, and its champions were even then 
seeking to drive the Sovereign Pontiff from the holy city, and 
were waging war with as determined wickedness as that of the 
early persecutors against whom the apostles had so successfully 

The number of pilgrims from all parts of the Christian world, 
who had come to Rome on occasion of the centennial celebration, 
is said by some writers to have been not less than half a million. 
The presence of so great a number of devoted Christian people on 
such an occasion was the noblest protest that could be imagined 
against the vain boasts and prophecies of the enemies of the 
Church which Peter founded. That church was not yet forsaken, 
or destined soon to perish, which, in the nineteenth century 
of her uninterrupted existence, could speak through so many 
witnesses — the representatives of every civilized nation of the 

The great consistorial hall in the Vatican Palace being too 
small to contain so great a crowd of dignified listeners, the 
assembly was held in the more spacious room which is situated 

290 Pius IX. And His Time 

[291] above the vestibule of St. Peter's Church. At the opening of the 

consistory the cardinal's hat was conferred on the Archbishop 
of Seville, Luis de la Lastray Cuesta. A formal petition for the 
beatification of Marie Rivier, the foundress of the presentation 
Nuns of France, was then presented. After this ceremony, the 
Holy Father, as was expected, delivered an allocution to the 
bishops. He was full of admiration for their zeal in coming in 
such numbers on his invitation, and he could not do less than 
express to them his gratitude. Their presence was a striking 
proof of the unity of the Catholic Church. "Yes, everything here 
proclaims that admirable unity by which, as through a mysterious 
channel, all the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit flow into the 
mystic body of Christ, calling forth in every one of its members 
those acts of faith and charity which excite the wonder of all 
mankind. What has brought you here? Are you not come to 
decree the honors of sanctity to those heroes of the church, the 
greater number of whom bore away the palm of victory in their 
glorious witness for Christ? Of these some died in defending the 
primacy of this apostolic see, which is the centre of truth and 
unity; others gave their lives in defence of the unity and integrity 
of the faith; others again shed their blood in the endeavor to 
bring back schismatics to the one fold. Is it not providential that 
such heroism should be commemorated and honored at the very 
moment when the Catholic faith and the authority of the Holy 
See are the objects of such furious and implacable conspiracies? 
We are also here to celebrate with solemn rites the memory of 
that auspicious day, eighteen hundred years ago, when Peter and 
Paul consecrated by their heroic witnessing and their precious 
blood this impregnable stronghold of Catholic unity. What can 
be more reasonable than that our joyous commemoration of this 
triumphant death of the prince of the apostles should be graced by 
your presence? For he belongs to the entire Catholic world. It is 
also most important that the enemies of religion should conclude 
from what they witness here how mighty is the energy, how 

Pius IX. And His Time. 291 

unfailing the life, of that Catholic Church which they so bitterly 
hate; how little wisdom they display in matching their strength [292] 
and their temporary triumphs over her against that incomparable 
union of living forces which the creative power of Christ has 
bound around this central rock. More than ever is it needful in 
our age, that all men should see and understand that the only 
strong and lasting tie between men's souls depends on the reign 
over all of the same Spirit of God. Besides, what can make 
a more abiding impression on Catholic nations; what can draw 
them more powerfully and bind them more closely in obedience 
to this apostolic chair and to us, than to see how much their 
pastors cherish the rights and duties of Catholic unity, than to 
behold them journeying from the farthest lands, notwithstanding 
every inconvenience and impediment, in order to visit Rome and 
the apostolic chair, as well as to revere in our humble person the 
successor of Peter and the Vicar of Christ? We have been always 
convinced, from the moment we beheld you approaching Peter 
in the person of his successor, or even entering this city, which 
is impregnated with his blood, that from thence to each one of 
you should go forth a special virtue. Yes, from this tomb, where 
Peter's ashes repose amid the veneration of the Christian world, 
a hidden power, a salutary energy, emanates which instils into 
the souls of the Chief Pastors the desire of great undertakings 
and of vast designs, inspiring that fearlessness and magnanimity 
which enable them to put down the impudent boldness of their 
assailants. There cannot be offered to the eyes of men and angels 
a more magnificent spectacle than what one beholds in such a 
concourse of pilgrims as this. You who come from the ends 
of the earth to this home of your Father remind us not only of 
that pilgrimage which leads us all to the eternal home, you also 
call to mind the journey of the chosen people from iEgypt to the 
promised land, the twelve tribes marching together, each under 
its chief, bearing its own name, having its own appropriate place 
in the camp. Every family there was obedient to its parents, every 

292 Pius IX. And His Time 

company of warriors hearkened to the voice of its captain, and 
[293] the entire multitude to the divinely-appointed leader. All these 

tribes, nevertheless, were but one people, adoring the same God, 
worshipping at the same altar, obeying the same laws, having one 
Pontiff, Aaron, and one leader, Moses — one people, enjoying 
common rights in the perils and labors of warfare as well as in 
the results of victory, dwelling in the same tents, and fed by 
the same miraculous bread, whilst all yearned for the same end 
of their pilgrimage. Nothing is to us the subject of such ardent 
longing as to see both ourselves and the whole church deriving 
from this precious union the most salutary blessings. It has 
long been a serious matter of thought for us, and which, indeed, 
we communicated to several of the episcopal body, to hold 
an (Ecumenical Council, in which, with the Divine assistance, 
our united counsels and solicitude should devise such efficient 
remedies as are necessary for the evils that afflict the church." 

Pius IX. had for a long time entertained the idea of holding an 
(Ecumenical Council. And no doubt his mind found relief when 
he communicated his purpose to the assembled bishops. Two 
years later, as is well known, the proposed council was convened 
at the Vatican, and from this circumstance is known in history 
as the Vatican Council. Bishops, priests and laity heard the 
intimation with delight. Their fervor and enthusiasm increased as 
the day of the grand centennial celebration approached. The vigil, 
28th June, was enlivened by illuminations. By early dawn on the 
29th, the feast of SS. Peter and Paul, people poured into Rome 
from the surrounding territory. They were welcome visitors. 
The Romans, far from being jealous of so great a concourse of 
strangers, hailed them as brothers, engaged, as they also were, 
in the great object of doing honor to the memory of Rome's 
apostles. The first grand public ceremony of the day was the 
solemn canonization, of which no description need be given in 
this place, as everything was conducted in the same way as in 
1852 and 1863. The Holy Father himself then celebrated High 

Pius IX. And His Time. 


Mass, and, what is still more noteworthy, delivered the sermon 
of the day. Until the time of Pius IX., no Pope had preached 
in public since the epoch of the Crusades and the Pontificate of 
Gregory VII. The Holy Father set an example to all who preach 
on great and solemn public occasions. His sermon was short, but 
replete with instruction, and marked by that earnestness which 
commands attention and moves the soul. The music, as was 
fitting at so great a celebration, was given by three choirs, in 
all four hundred voices, which completely filled the immense 
Basilica, conveying, by the exquisite music which they gave 
forth, an idea of that more than earthly harmony which ever 
ascends to the throne of heaven from the angelic choirs. There 
was also a solemn service in the afternoon, which was alike 
highly interesting and calculated to inspire devotion. The general 
illumination which took place at night rivalled the splendor of 
the bright Italian day. On June 30th was celebrated the special 
feast of St. Paul in the fine church dedicated to this great apostle, 
and with scarcely less magnificence than that of St. Peter had 
been honored. 

The bishops now desired, before leaving Rome, to present 
an address to the Holy Father, as well in reply to his allocution 
of 26th June as to express their gratitude for the great kindness 
which he had shown them. The 1st July was the day chosen for 
the presentation of this address. It is a model of elegant Latinity, 
and completely refutes the modern assertion that churchmen are 
unacquainted with the Latin of the classics. The reply of the 
assembled bishops to the fatherly allocution of Pius IX. affords, 
moreover, an admirable proof of the sympathy of the united 
episcopate with the Supreme Bishop. It shows the excellent 
union of the bishops with one another, and their no less perfect 
union with their Head. What more could there have been in the 
brightest days of the church's history? 

The French garrison had departed before the commencement 
of the memorable celebrations that have been just described. 



aggression. — Treachery 
of the Italian 

294 Pius IX. And His Time 

Although the population of Rome was literally doubled by the 
presence of pious strangers, not the slightest breach of order was 
ever observed. The exercise of filial duty required not to be 
watched over by any outside power. It was now seven months 
since Napoleon III. had withdrawn his troops. 

On the 6th December, 1866, Pius IX. had taken leave of them 
in the following words: 

"Your flag, which left France eighteen years ago with 
commission to defend the rights of the Holy See, was at that time 
attended by the prayers and acclamations of all Christendom. 
To-day it returns to France. I desire, my dear children, that it 
may be welcomed by the same acclamations. But I doubt it. It 
is only too manifest, indeed, that because it will appear to have 
ceased to protect me my enemies will not on that account cease 
to attack me. Quite the contrary. We must not delude ourselves. 
The revolution will come here. It has declared and still declares 
that it will. An Italian personage in high position lately said 
that Italy is made but not completed. Italy would be undone 
if there were here one spot of earth where order, justice and 
tranquillity prevail! Formerly, six years ago, I conversed with 
a representative of France. He asked me if there were anything 
I wished to transmit to the Emperor. I replied: St. Augustine, 
Bishop of Hippo, which is now a French city, beholding the 
barbarians at the gates of the town, prayed the Lord that he might 
die before they entered, because his mind was horror-struck by 
the thought of the evils which they would cause. I added: Say 
this to the Emperor: he will understand it. The ambassador made 
answer: Most Holy Father, have confidence; the barbarians will 
not enter. The ambassador was no prophet. Depart, my children, 
depart with my blessing and my love. If you see the Emperor, 
[296] tell him that I pray for him every day. It is said that his health 

is not very good; I pray that he may have health. It is said that 
his mind is not at ease. I pray for his soul. The French nation is 
Christian; its Chief ought also to be Christian. Let there be prayer 

Pius IX. And His Time. 295 

with confidence and perseverance, and this great and powerful 
nation may obtain what it desires. Depart, my children; I impart 
to you my benediction, and with it my wish that it may attend 
you throughout the journey of life. Think not that you leave me 
here alone and deprived of all resource. God remains with me; 
in Him I place my trust!" 

Pius IX., in a more private communication, said: "Yes, God 
sustains His vicar and aids his weakness. He may permit him to 
be driven away, but only in order to show, once more, that he 
can bring him back. I have been exiled; I returned from exile. If 
banished anew, I will again return. And if I die — well ! if I die, 
Peter will rise again!" 

Thus did Pius IX. clearly foresee the danger but was not 
on that account less confident. Nor did his confidence lessen 
his foresight. What, indeed, he said publicly, "The revolution 
will come here," everyone capable of reasoning said in secret. 
The September convention left the small Pontifical sovereignty 
surrounded on all sides by its enemies, just as the government 
of Napoleon III. would have been if isolated in Paris and the 
two neighboring departments, all the rest of the French territory 
being in the power of a republic, or a Bourbon Monarchy. In vain 
did M. Rouher endeavor to demonstrate to the Chambers that 
a stable equilibrium was established, and which was of such a 
character as to remain by itself for an indefinite period. Nobody 
was convinced by his reasoning. But the Imperial majorities, 
recruited as they were by the system of official candidatures, 
asked not of the complaisant minister reasons which he had not 
to give. They sought only pretexts which should allow them to 
vote, with a show of decency, according to the wishes of the 

The Holy Father was destined to enjoy a period of success 
before his prophecy came to be fulfilled. Immediately after 

the disastrous but glorious events of 1860, the courageous [297] 
Belgian, Mgr. de Merode, as Minister of War, and afterwards 

296 Pius IX. And His Time 

General Kanzler, in this same capacity, greatly renewed the small 
Pontifical army. As their labors deserved, they were attended 
with success. Lamoriciere died towards the end of 1865; but on 
the new alarm of danger, many of his veterans of Castelfidardo 
and Ancona, returned to Rome in 1 866. The flower of the French, 
Dutch, Belgian, English, Swiss and Roman youth made it a point 
of honor to swell the ranks of the Papal Zouaves. The high tone, 
the illustrious names of several of these new crusaders, and the 
admirable discipline which prevailed among them all, soon won 
for them the respect even of the few revolutionists who were at 
Rome. These brave and self-sacrificing youths, many of whom 
served at their own cost, were addressed as "Signor Soldato" 
(Signor Soldier) by the passers-by, whilst the venal scribes of 
the outside revolutionary press did their best to stigmatize them 
as "the mercenaries of the Pope." Whilst some of these warriors 
devoted their life, others bestowed their gold. It is honorable to 
the Catholic people that, in the circumstances, they added the 
good work of supporting the Pontifical army to their collections 
of Peter's pence. In order to furnish the sum of 500 francs (£20 
sterling) yearly, which was required for each soldier, artisans and 
even domestic servants freely subscribed. In 1867, the Catholics 
of the diocese of Cambrai, sent two hundred Zouaves; those of 
Rodez and Arras, one hundred for each diocese; whilst Cologne, 
Nantes, Rennes and Toulouse did almost as much. 

Meanwhile, having its eyes somewhat opened by the light from 
Sadowa, the French government appeared to have abandoned, 
as regarded the protection of the Holy See, its secret maxim of 
1860: "Neither do anything nor allow anything to be done." In 
withdrawing from Rome, it had authorized the creation, under 
a chief whom it was pleased itself to designate, a body of 
volunteers, selected chiefly from the French army, whose duty it 
should be to guard the Pope. This corps was called the Legion of 
[298] Antibes, from the name of the city where it was formed. Pius IX., 

besides, could rely on the fidelity of the Roman army, properly 

Pius IX. And His Time. 297 

so called. Thus was he more than sufficiently provided against 
any possible internal disturbance. It was not to be expected that 
he should be prepared to meet a formidable foreign invasion of 
his state. 

The notorious Garibaldi had already made preparations 
for invading the Roman territory. Whilst he neglected not 
to strengthen the International at the Geneva Congress of 
Demagogues, the indefatigable brigand availed himself of the 
crowding of pilgrims to Rome in order to deceive the Pontifical 
police, and to introduce into the city bands of cutthroats, 
munitions of war, and arms of every kind, not excepting Orsini 
bombs. After the departure of the bishops, he opened publicly, in 
Italy, subscription lists, and enrolled soldiers. The Piedmontese 
government stores were at his service as they were in 1860, in 
order to aid him in clothing and arming his volunteers. These 
were joined by numerous functionaries and officers of the regular 
army, who took no pains to conceal their Piedmontese arms and 
uniforms. Municipalities, at public deliberative meetings, voted 
subsidies to the Garibaldians, and railway managers provided 
them with special trains. Whilst so many things that clearly 
showed the complicity of Piedmont were done, Victor Emmanuel 
sent protestation after protestation to Paris. He did not, by any 
means, intend, he said, to disembarrass himself of the obligations 
which were imposed on him by the first article of the convention 
of the 15th September, 1865. It might be relied upon, besides, 
that he would check the agitators and repress by force, even, if 
necessary, all violation of the Pontifical frontier. Nor did the 
wily monarch confine himself to words. He acted as he could 
act so well. Garibaldi was sent to his island, Caprera; but only 
in order to escape from it at the opportune moment, through the 
seven vessels by which he was guarded. An order for his arrest 
was then issued. Active search was made for him at Genoa, at 
Turin, everywhere except at Florence, where he harangued the 
people in the most public places, even under the windows of [299] 

298 Pius IX. And His Time 

the King's palace. Later, when it was undertaken to arrest him at 
Florence, it so happened that he had started by a special train for 
Garibaldi invades the Roman frontier, together with a complete staff. The telegraph 
the Papal states. was p Ut m re q U i s ition in order to turn back the train. But, possibly 
through the fault of a disobedient employee, the telegraph failed 
to accomplish its purpose. The Italian government neglected 
not to hold an investigation in regard to this matter, and swore 
that the guilty party, if found out, would be punished. What 
more could be desired? Was not France satisfied with much 
less than this in 1860? Whilst diplomacy was thus playing its 
role, Garibaldi and his myrmidons were penetrating on all sides 
at once the Pontifical territory. Twenty-seven gensd'armes, who 
guarded the small town of Aquapendente, were surprised by two 
hundred and fifty Garibaldians, who, on being re-inforced by 
another band, marched thence on Ischia, Valentano and Canino, 
pillaging the public chests, sacking the convents and churches, 
prudently retiring as often as they met Pontifical forces in any 
considerable numbers. Eighty-five Zouaves, or soldiers of the 
line, having rashly pursued them at Bagnorea, and attacked them 
with the bayonet, were repulsed with loss. It could not well 
have been otherwise, considering the great disparity of numbers. 
Garibaldi shouted victory, in his usual emphatic style: "Hail 
to the victors of Aquapendente and Bagnorea! The foreign 
mercenaries have fled before the valiant champions of Italian 
liberty. Those braggarts who thirsted for blood have experienced 
the noble generosity of their brave conquerors. As to you, priests, 
who know so well how to burn, torture and imprison; you who 
drink, with hyena-like delight, in the cup of your deceit, the 
blood of the liberators; we pardon you, and, together with you, 
that butcher soldiery, the pestilent scum of a faithless faction." 

The conquerors, however, were driven from their easy 
conquests before they received this proclamation which spoke 
[300] of mercy in terms that expressed it so poorly. Events which 

were a cruel satire on Garibaldi's words, and which he had not 

Pius IX. And His Time. 299 

foreseen, caused his bands to fall into the power of the Pontifical 
troops, so that it was they who sued for pardon and obtained it. 
It can even be said that on this occasion the generosity of the 
soldiers of the Pope was excessive, for the vanquished enemy 
had been guilty of many other crimes besides that of rising in 
arms against the legitimate government. They had pillaged the 
Cathedral of Bagnorea, broken the tabernacle, stolen the sacred 
vessels, defiled the image of the Madonna, pierced the crucifix 
with their bayonets, decapitated the statues of the saints, and 
enacting an infernal parody, shot an inoffensive man, in order 
that human blood might be shed on the altar of sacrifice. 

At Subiaco, the governor, who was a priest, fell, together with 
the town, into the hands of the banditti. They were preparing to 
sack the place and put the governor to death, when a Pontifical 
troop appeared. The struggle was short. The Garibaldian chief 
was slain, and the rest fled. They who guarded the prisoner 
threw themselves at his knees, imploring mercy. "Have pity on 
us, my Lord; do not give us up to the Zouaves; they would kill 
us." The governor made them go into his oratory and closed the 
door. Meanwhile the commandant of the Zouaves arrived, gave 
him the details of the battle, and spoke of the prisoners he had 
taken. "Everybody makes prisoners," said the governor, smiling. 
"I have some also, although not, like you, a man of the sword." 
"Where are they?" "Ah! they are mine and not yours. Promise 
that you will respect my absolute right of conqueror; if not, I will 
not show them." The commandant made the desired promise, 
and the governor opened the door of his oratory and made the 
Garibaldians come out. These prisoners were greatly amazed. 
Having asked and obtained the governor's priestly blessing, they 
freely recrossed the Italian frontier. 

The action at Monte-Libretti, which took place on the 14th 
October, was of a more serious character. Eighty Zouaves 
contended from half -past five in the evening till eight o'clock 
against twelve hundred Garibaldians. Arthur Guillemin, their [301] 

300 Pius IX. And His Time 

captain, and Urbain de Quelen, their second lieutenant, fell 
gloriously. When night came, the Zouaves being unable to fight 
any longer, and not venturing to establish themselves in the first 
houses which they had taken, whilst all the rest of the town 
still swarmed with the enemy, retired in good order, bearing 
away their dead, and also twelve prisoners. They returned 
next morning, in order to renew the attack, but found the place 

The violation of the Pontifical territory was now too flagrant 
to be denied any longer, and the more so, as the Cabinet of the 
Tuileries was not ignorant of anything that was taking place. It 
was, by a fortunate accident, represented at Rome by a diplomatist 
of a different school from that of Thouvenel and Lavalette. The 
ambassador, M. de Sartiges, was absent on leave, and was 
replaced by his first secretary, M. Arman. The latter understood 
his duty, and, at the risk of being importunate, ceased not to make 
known, every day, to France, the events which were so rapidly 
occurring. Thus did a comparatively humble secretary save the 
honor of his country. Compelled by the terms of the September 
convention to stay the invasion, the Government of Florence 
stationed a corps of forty thousand men, under the command 
of Cialdini, around the Pontifical frontier, and intimated to the 
Tuileries that it was for its protection. It soon became evident that 
it was in order to fall upon it, in the wake of Garibaldi, as they 
had fallen upon the Kingdom of Naples in 1860. Meanwhile, 
the invaders passed without any difficulty between the different 
posts, and when beaten and pursued by the Pontifical troops, they 
retired and reformed behind the ranks of the Piedmontese. 

Murder of the Hence the small body of Pontifical soldiers was easily 
Zouave music overwhelmed, and the Garibaldian hordes, although beaten, 


were always advancing. Rome was filled with consternation. 

The cutthroats of the revolution spoke of applying gunpowder 

[302] to public edifices. And indeed they set about fulfilling their 

threat by blowing up the Serratori barracks, which they had 

Pius IX. And His Time. 301 

undermined, and which buried, one evening, in their ruins, 
the music band of the Zouaves, whilst they were engaged at 
a rehearsal. Fortunately the bandsmen were the only victims. 
The rest of the corps which remained to guard the city was 
at the moment patrolling at a distance from the barracks. The 
Garibaldians expected the explosion. They rushed into the streets 
and endeavored to avail themselves of the terror and confusion 
which generally prevailed in order to seize the military posts. 
They managed to assassinate, in the dark, a few soldiers and 
some gensd'armes; but they succeeded not even in ringing the 
alarm-bell at the Capitol, which was intended to be their signal. 
Their principal leader, a Milanese, whose name was Cairoli, was 
killed with arms in his hands, together with some twenty of his 
followers, in a vineyard near the city; and so failed the enterprise. 
The French Cabinet ceased, at length, to persist in the face 
of the clearest evidence and against the unanimous voice of the 
national conscience. A small body of soldiers had been sent 
to the French port of Toulon. It received orders to embark 
for Civita Vecchia. Catholics were relieved from their anxiety. 
Meanwhile came new assurances from Florence. A counter-order 
was given, and the embarkation suspended. Victor Emmanuel 
and his minister, Ratazzi, thought they understood the secret 
meaning of this counter-order. They remembered the past, and 
the troops of Cialdini boldly crossed the Pontifical frontier. 

French historians relate that, on receiving this news, all who French army 
had any concern for the honor of France believed that it had 
come to an end, and made up their minds, in sullen silence, to 
swallow the new disgrace. They who were indifferent, even, 
became indignant. People who met on the boulevards of Paris 
asked one another to what extremes those Italian mountebanks 
(farceurs) would bring them. The enemies of the Pope, who [303] 
were equally hostile to the Emperor, rejoiced, but secretly. The 
deputies either protested together with the Catholics, or dared 
not show themselves; the ministers were silent. Finally, the army 

ordered to Rome. 


Pius IX. And His Time 

Character of 

Garibaldians — No 
sympathy with 



took its departure from Toulon. It was time that it should; and 
this appeared to be well understood. There was great irresolution 
in coming to a decision. It was no less promptly carried into 
effect. The French army disembarked at Civita Vecchia on the 
29th October, under the command of General de Failly. 

Three days earlier, 26th October, the small town of Monte 
Rotondo, five leagues from Rome, was attacked by Garibaldi in 
person, attended by a band of five thousand four hundred fighting 
men. Its garrison consisted of five hundred men of the legion of 
Antibes. These few brave soldiers held their ground for two days 
and repelled five attacks. They were compelled at last to yield, 
having exhausted all their munitions of war. They retired, but left 
Garibaldi so much weakened and disorganized by his inglorious 
victory that he was unable for several days to advance. Thus, for 
the moment, did the legion of Antibes save Rome. 

Monte Rotondo, it is almost superfluous to relate, experienced 
the fate of Bagnorea. Nothing comparable in point of atrocity 
had occurred since the invasion of Italy by the barbarians. In 
justice to Garibaldi, it must be said that he rebuked publicly by 
an order of the day, dated 28th October, the "shameful excess" of 
his fellow-adventurers, and proceeded to expurgate their ranks. 
But he could not hinder them from being what they were, a mob 
of miscreants that the secret societies of the whole world had 
discharged on the Pontifical State. He was not less astonished to 
meet with so poor a welcome on the part of the people whom it 
was supposed he came to deliver. His chief lieutenant, Bertani, 
bears witness to this state of things, in the Riforma of 18th 
November, 1867: "It must be admitted," said this writer, "that 
the people of the Roman States have no idea of an Italy one 
and free. We have not been greeted or encouraged by a single 
cry of rejoicing; nor have we obtained either any spontaneous 
assistance, or even a word of consolation, from these brutified 

General Kanzler, the pro-Minister of War, well understood 

Pius IX. And His Time. 303 

that it was impossible to defend for any length of time the frontier 
against bands that were constantly recruited. Accordingly, he 
ordered all the isolated garrisons to concentrate at Rome. It was 
more important than anything else to preserve the Papal city from 
being surprised by the invaders. Garibaldi, when re-inforced, 
marched in advance of Monte Rotondo. Cialdini followed him 
at some distance, but without daring as yet openly to join the 
banditti. The French, however, were en route. Kanzler took his 
departure from Rome on 3rd November, at two o'clock in the 
morning, followed by 3,000 Pontifical troops and 2,000 French 
soldiers. "Come," said he, to M. Emilius Keller, Dr. O'Zannam, 
and some others who had just arrived from Paris, in order to 
organize the ambulance service of the Pontifical army, "come, 
and you will see a fine battle." The small army met the enemy 
at one o'clock in the afternoon, at a short distance from the town 
of Mentana, the ancient Nomentum from which the Nomentan 
way {via Nomentana) took its name. Garibaldi's command was 
from 10,000 to 12,000 strong. He placed his men in ambuscade, 
partly on small hills that were covered with wood, and partly 
scattered them, as fusileers, along the hedges. His left wing was 
commanded by Pianciani, who, some time later, was Mayor of 
Rome. Kanzler's force commenced firing. But what could it avail 
against an enemy that was invisible and in superior numbers? 
A veteran of Castelfidardo, Lieutenant-Colonel de Charette, the 
same who was destined afterwards to immortalize himself at 
Patay and at Mans, understood that nothing was to be gained by 
a fusillade. "Forward," he cried, "my Zouaves! charge with the 
bayonet; and, remember, the French army is looking on." The 
Zouaves reply: "Live Pius IX!" and spring forward with their 
leader. The Garibaldians are dislodged from the first hill — from 
the other hills, and would have been utterly routed but for the [305] 
formidable intrenchments presented by the Santucci vineyard, 
which was laid out in gardens rising in storeys, one above the 
other, and intersected by walls. Garibaldi was posted on the 

304 Pius IX. And His Time 

summit, in a villa, whence he directed his fire without being 
exposed to personal danger. His position was, indeed, strong. 
Charette's troop was observed to waver. "Forward, Zouaves!" 
cried their leader, "or I shall die without you!" As he spoke, his 
horse was struck by a ball and fell dead. Meanwhile, the Zouaves 
scaled the walls and the ravines, without heeding those who fell. 
Garibaldi was disconcerted by this living tornado. He fell back 
from his villa to the houses, and thence to the Castle of Mentana. 
The Zouaves followed in the face of a murderous fire, discharged 
from the walls of the castle; but they always advanced, and finally, 
repelled, by a bayonet charge, a renewed and general attack of 
the enemy. Such efforts, however, could not have been sustained 
for any length of time unaided, and bravery must, in the end, 
have given way to numbers. General de Courten, who directed 
this attack, sent to ask assistance from General Polhes, who 
commanded the army of France. The French soldiers had been, 
hitherto, inactive, although by no means unheeding spectators 
of the combat. "Bravo! Zouaves, bravo!" cried they, eagerly 
desiring to share in the fight. At a sign from their chief, they 
sprang forward in their turn. At their head was Colonel Saussier, 
of the 20th regiment of the line, who was afterwards general and 
member of the National Assembly at Versailles. The sudden and 
hitherto unknown fire of the chassepots carried death and terror 
within the precincts of the castle. Meanwhile, a detachment 
of Zouaves managed to place themselves between Mentana and 
Monte Rotondo, and so intercepted the reinforcements which 
were hastening from the latter place to join the Garibaldians. At 
sight of this achievement, the bands, already much demoralized, 
were thrown into confusion. Night came, and, favoring their 
flight, changed it to a rout. Garibaldi himself, who had so 
[306] often shouted, "Rome or death" — stole away, under cover of 

the darkness, like the meanest of the fugitives. His sons did in 
like manner. It was expected that they would renew the battle 
next day, as Monte Rotondo, which they still held, presented a 

Pius IX. And His Time. 305 

convenient position for rallying. They did nothing of the kind. 
On the very night which followed the engagement Garibaldi and 
his sons recrossed the Italian frontier. "He always runs away" 
(si salva sempre), said his followers, in the bitterness of their 
disappointment, when so shamefully betrayed and abandoned. 
The French soldiers, on the other hand, always inclined to raillery 
and punning, baptized the action of the preceding day, calling 
it the battle of Montre ton dos. The Garibaldians, who held 
the castle, as well as the rest of the banditti who could not get 
away in time, surrendered, unconditionally, to General Polhes. 
There was but little bloodshed on the side of the victors, thanks 
to the rapidity with which the victory was won. The losses of 
the French troops were not more than two killed, two officers 
and thirty-six privates wounded. Of the Pontifical force there 
were twenty killed and one hundred and twenty-three wounded. 
Several of these died of their wounds. 

Among those noble victims who claim the gratitude of the The 
Catholic world, were names already dear to the church — such as Maistre— Muiier. 
Bernard de Quatre-barbe, a nephew of the defender of Ancona; 
Rodolph de Maistre, grandson of the immortal author of "The 
Pope;" and John de Muller, son of the celebrated German 
controversialist. As if nothing that is glorious should be wanting 
to the field of Mentana, it had also its martyrs of charity. The 
Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul went and came among the wounded 
and the dying, giving their aid alike to all, no matter what their 
uniform. There was need of water. A Pontifical Zouave, Julius 
Watts Russell, ran to find some for a Garibaldian who was at the 
point of death. As he was gently raising the head of the moribund, 
in order that he might drink, he was himself struck with a ball 
and fell dead on the body of him whom he had endeavored to 
succour. On his person was found a small note, in which he [307] 
thus exhorted himself: "My soul, O, my soul! love God and 
pursue thy way." What Christian would not be envious of a like 
death — a death which nobly crowned such a life as these few 


Pius IX. And His Time 


Two murderers 


words necessarily suppose? 

The vanquished had been fanaticised by the secret societies 
as well as by Garibaldi himself, that infuriated enthusiast, who 
could not write four lines nor utter four words without enshrining 
therein the treasons of the black race, that prurient sore of Italy; 
or the venom of the Vatican, that nest of vipers; or the lies of 
Pius IX., that pest, that monster, twice accursed, as priest and as 
king. So when these people were made prisoners, they expected 
nothing better than the hardest treatment and the most terrible 
vengeance. How surprised must they not then have been to find 
that their wounded were attended to on the field of battle, and 
the same care and attention extended to them as to the wounded 
of the Pontifical force, whilst those who were sound met with no 
other punishment than to be well guarded at first, and afterwards 
released by degrees, as it became certain that Garibaldi would 
be in no hurry to renew his game. Finally, a complete amnesty 
was granted. This extreme clemency of a legitimate government 
towards an invading banditti presented a noble and happy contrast 
with the implacable revenge of the usurping King of Piedmont. 
Victor Emmanuel, in fact, had no hesitation in putting to death 
the Spanish general Borges and his Neapolitan comrades, who 
were arrested whilst bearing arms in an endeavor to deliver the 
kingdom of Naples, and restore its former king, Francis II. 

Two men only were excepted from the Pontifical amnesty. 
These were the authors of that atrocious act, the blowing up 
of the Sorristori barracks. Their crime, indeed, could not be 
considered as anything connected with the war, but simply as 
cowardly assassination. Those two wretches, Monti and Tognetti, 
underwent a regular trial, which lasted more than a year, and 
at which all the forms required by law were strictly observed. 
They were convicted, and ended by acknowledging everything. 
They suffered capital punishment, and, at their execution, begged 
pardon of God and men. The day after this execution — coming 
generations will scarcely believe so strange a fact — the Chamber 

wounded rebels. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 307 

of Deputies at Florence solemnly protested against it, as did also 
Victor Emmanuel. The secret societies opened a subscription list 
for the widows of the executed criminals. Victor Emmanuel took 
part in it. And thus did a king honor parties who commit murder 
by gunpowder plots. True, this king was the same prince who, 
in pursuance of a decree issued by Garibaldi, at Naples, in 1861, 
pensioned the widow of the regicide, Agesilas Milano. 

Pius IX. entertained quite a different idea of the duties of Pius ix. visits the 
royalty. He was persuaded that an example should be made 
of the foul crime of Monti and Tognetti, and so could not be 
moved. "A king," said he, "owes justice to all alike, certainly 
not excepting honest people: and hence assassins must not be 
allowed to count on impunity." He went kindly to visit the 
wounded Garibaldians, "those unfortunate people, a great many 
of whom were only misled, and who, nevertheless, were his 
children." Two hundred of them had been conveyed to a lower 
room in the Castle of St. Angelo. He visited them quite alone, 
and thus addressed them: "Here I am, my friends; you see before 
you him whom your general calls the Vampire of Italy; you all 
took up arms against me, and you see that I am only a poor old 
man! You are in need of shoes, clothes and linen. Well, the 
Pope on whom you made war will cause you to be supplied with 
all these things. He will then send you back to your families; 
only before your departure, you will, from love to me, make a 
spiritual retreat." The unfortunate rebels could not believe their 
eyes or their ears. Some turned away from him in sullen wrath, 
like demons who will not give up hating. Others, in greater 
numbers, seized hold of the paternal hand which was raised over 
them to bless them, and bathed it with their tears. The good [309] 
Pope, marvelled at the designs of God, who brings good out of 
evil. "Ofelix culpa" ("O happy fault!"), said he, alluding to the 
prayers of Holy Saturday, "if these children had not borne arms 
against me, they would not, perhaps, have died so piously." 

It was some time before the details of Mentana were known in 

308 Pius IX. And His Time 

France. The government, it would appear, feared to acknowledge 
that the French soldiers took part in the engagement. When, 
however, the general's report put an end to all doubt on the 
subject, there were no bounds to the rage of the revolutionary 
party. The revolution, hitherto, had used Louis Napoleon as a 
facile and valuable instrument. It could not pardon him Mentana. 
But France was not all revolutionary. The mass of the nation, 
honest and loyal, shared not the ideas of the secret societies. Far 
from regretting what had taken place, the French people dreaded 
lest there should not have been enough done. 

Cialdini, indeed, had been able to withdraw his troops, not 
with honor but without molestation, within the Italian frontier, 
whilst no account was required of his violation of the September 
convention. The ministers continued to discuss Italian unity as 
freely as they had been in the habit of doing for eight years, and 
the officious demagogue papers which were devoted to Prince 
Napoleon began to demand the speedy return of the French troops 
from Rome, and that by virtue of the famous convention which, 
according to these politicians, was binding on France, but not on 
Italy. The legislative body was moved. Not only the deputies 
who were declared Catholics, and who always divided against 
the government on the Roman question, but a great number of 
those also who had never until that time shown any indocility 
at the moment of voting, resolved to force the government to 
make a clear and public declaration of its intentions. The debate 
was opened by M. Thiers in an eloquent speech at the sitting of 
4th December. He proved, and the proof was not difficult, that 
no reliance could be placed on the word of Victor Emmanual 
[310] or Italian promises. "The House of Savoy," said he, "goes 

to a falcon hunt with Garibaldi. If the latter fails he is taken 
to Caprera. If he succeeds, and takes a kingdom, they say to 
him, you are the revolution: your prey does not belong to you; 
it is ours, who are order and legality." Jules Favre, a barrister, 
shamelessly spoke in a contrary sense, and endeavored to justify 

Pius IX. And His Time. 309 

Italy. His sophistry met with no response. 

The minister, M. Rouher, could not retreat. He made a 
long speech, in which he defended the policy of Napoleon III. 
against the two former speakers, and involved himself once more 
in the inconceivable idea of neither sacrificing Italian unity to 
the Pope's temporal sovereignty nor that sovereignty to Italian 
unity. (On the one hand, M. Jules Favre objected that Italy, 
and chiefly amongst others, Menabrea, the actual head of the 
Florence Cabinet, whose wisdom and moderation had just been 
praised by the French minister, ceased not to declare that the 
possession of Rome was indispensable.) On the other hand, 
there were loud murmurs which protested against the iniquitous 
equality which was sought to be established between the victim 
and his executioner. M. Rouher perceived that the majority 
which the Imperial government had commanded for sixteen 
years, was on the point of slipping from him; so, turning to Jules 
Favre, he declared "that he was not agreed with him on any 
point — that he absolutely rejected his policy." Then, addressing 
the Conservatives, he affirmed that they would defend Rome 
so long as the desired reconciliation did not take place — that 
France would never, never abandon Rome. He concluded by 
conjuring the deputies to cling to the government which gave the 
battle of Mentana as a pledge of its sincerity. This declaration 
was greeted with prolonged applause, and it could no longer 
be doubted that the vote would be almost unanimous. The 
deputies, however, determined that the head of their church 
should not be imperfectly protected, required of the minister a 
distinct explanation of what he meant by defending Rome. They 
were resolved that the government should not have the power to 
give up to Italy the territory around the city which the Pope still [31 1] 
possessed, and leave to him only the walls of Rome. This position 
was maintained by the veteran orator of French parliaments, M. 
Berryer. A great number of deputies came to his support, so 
necessary was it understood to be to guard against all subterfuge 

310 Pius IX. And His Time 

in transacting with Napoleon III. M. Rouher was constrained to 
reascend the tribune. He did so, he said, more fully to express his 
idea, and declared, whilst the Chamber loudly applauded, that 
the Emperor guaranteed not only the city of Rome, but also the 
territory actually possessed by the Holy See, in all its integrity. 
Such was the memorable sitting of 4th December, 1867, at which 
the will of France was forced on its despotic ruler. But both 
for him and the country, French writers assure us, it was too 
late. If the representatives of the nation, they say, had shown 
from the beginning the same decision; if the empire had always 
spoken as on the 4th December, 1867; if, above all, it had acted 
conformably to its words, it would either not have fallen or fallen 
with honor. But never would we have seen either Italian unity 
or German unity, and the black flag of Prussia would not wave 
to-day over Metz, Malhouse and Strasbourg. 

Piedmont having withdrawn its threatening force on the 
approach of the French troops, the Holy See had nothing to 
dread, for some time at least, from foreign invasion. It remained 
only to provide against the attacks of banditti such as had been 
just defeated at Mentana. In this important matter the Holy 
Father was not left to his own resources. The whole Christian 
world was in sympathy with him, and anxious for his safety. 
Volunteers from all Catholic countries hastened to Rome. Even 
remote Canada, so early as 1868, had sent her three hundred. 
And these mercenaries, as the enemy called them, served at their 
own expense. The Bishops of Hungary furnished three squadrons 
of Hussars, who were all mounted, equipped, and in every way 
supplied by Hungarian subscriptions. The bishops and nobility 
of Galicia sent lancers. France, Belgium and Catholic Germany, 
emulated one another in their efforts to maintain the Pontifical 
[312] force. 

There was nothing warlike in thus providing against possible 
danger. So long as France held Piedmont bound to treaty 
stipulations, any army in the service of the Pope could only 

Pius IX. And His Time. 3 1 1 

be employed as a police force in maintaining internal peace, 
or in repelling such attempts as had recently been made by the 
irregular bands of Garibaldi against the Pontifical States. 

Meanwhile, the arts of peace were not neglected. The Holy 
Father, as might be supposed, when freed from the fear of 
invasion and expulsion from his state, applied with renewed zeal 
to the duties of his sublime office. Nor to these alone did he 
confine the exercise of his well-directed charity. The agricultural 
school for children remains a lasting and solid proof of his 
enlightened benevolence. This establishment is called, in honor 
of its august founder, the Pio Vigneard (Pia Vigna). It is provided 
with all the most improved implements, and is confided to the 
care of the Belgian Brothers of Mercy. It is wholly maintained 
by the private funds of Pius IX. It may be seen on an eminence 
to the left of the railway as you approach the city of Rome. 


The anniversary of the elevation of Pius IX. to the Christian 
priesthood happily occurred during this interval of peace. There 
was but one feeling throughout the whole Christian world. The 
warmest expressions of love and devotedness proceeded from 
every land. All the sovereigns of Europe conveyed by autograph 
letters their dutiful congratulations, whilst the joy of the people 
everywhere knew no bounds. At Rome the feast of the golden 
wedding of Pius IX. lasted three days. Everywhere else, as it 
fell on the Sunday of the Good Shepherd, it was celebrated in 
the churches, and often in public places or on the mountains by 
illuminations or bonfires. Under the name of handsel to Pius IX., 
the Catholic press opened subscription lists. Notwithstanding the 
regular payment of Peter's pence, the public generosity was not 
exhausted. [313] 

One journal might be quoted, which alone collected more 
than one hundred thousand francs. The Archbishop of Cologne, 
Monsigneur Melchers, observed, in a pastoral instruction which 

312 Pius IX. And His Time 

he issued on the occasion, that never before had a Pope been in 
such intimate and universal relation with the heart of humanity. 
And indeed it was more consoling to the Supreme Pastor than all 
other demonstrations to reflect that so many millions on millions 
of faithful united with him in prayer at the Mass of the 11th of 
April, all on the occasion participating in the Holy Communion. 
He felt that the whole universe prayed with him and for him. 
"O God!" he exclaimed, in presence of some pilgrims who had 
come to congratulate him in person, "O God! have mercy on 
me! This is too much happiness! I dread when, ere long, I 
shall appear before Thy judgment-seat, lest Thou say to me: 
Thou hast had thy reward on earth! Not to me, but to Thee, O 
Lord! belongeth the love of Christians." He fully appreciated the 
numerous offerings and congratulations of the Catholic world. 
His servants conceived the happy idea of placing in symmetrical 
order throughout the apartments of the Vatican the rich and 
numerous gifts which were presented to him on the occasion 
of his jubilee. Beholding them, he exclaimed: "I also have my 
universal exposition! It is the fruit not of my industry but of 
the love of my children." Then, as he turned over the leaves 
of the gigantic manuscripts which were covered with addresses 
of devotedness, he added: "This is the true expression of the 
universal Catholic suffrage." 

This auspicious time of peace and rejoicing was not without its 
sorrows. Among these were the fearful massacres of Christians 
in China. Nor were these the worst, for they carried with 
them their consolation. If the Church was cruelly persecuted in 
China, she won new glory in adding martyrs to the Triumphant 
army in heaven. The many scandals that occurred throughout 
Christendom were more truly afflicting. Above all, were truly 
trying to the paternal heart of the Holy Father those which 
[314] happened among the Catholic people, who protected him in 

the possession of what remained of his dilapidated patrimony. 
A court and a political system which were destined soon to 

Pius IX. And His Time. 3 1 3 

disappear were laboring to put an end to Christian education. The 
prince, cousin of the Emperor, Napoleon III., and the Senator 
and Academician, Sainte Beuve, held heathenish orgies in the 
Lenten season, even on Good Friday. To crown the list of evil, 
apostacy was not wanting. It was of little consequence that one 
who fell away, although a vehement declaimer, was a shallow 
theologian; his loss was, nevertheless, to be deplored. The 
progress of a low sect in Belgium called Solidaires, the success 
of a new revolution in Spain, under favor of which the members 
of religious communities, both of men and of women, were 
driven from their homes in the name of liberty, together with 
the opening of revolutionary clubs in Paris, caused Pius IX. to 
dread catastrophes in the near future. Severe domestic affliction 
came this year (1869) to aggravate the sorrows of Pius IX. His 
brother, Count Gabriel Mastai, met with an accident which, at 
his advanced age, ninety, proved to be serious. The Holy Father, 
immediately traversing Rome, ascended on his knees the scala 
sancta. A few days later the death of the patient was intimated to 
him. He shut himself up several hours in his private apartment, 
in order that none might witness the tears which grief made him 
shed. Finally, he repaired to the Vatican Basilica, where he 
prayed for a long time, both before the Holy Sacrament and at 
the tomb of the apostles. 


Those states which formed the monetary division of Western 
Europe — France, Belgium, Switzerland and the Holy See, agreed 
at this time to refound their silver coinage. A model was 
chosen, which Greece, Portugal, Roumania and some other 
countries adopted in their turn, and it was understood that 
the new coinage for each state should be in proportion to its 
population. Hence it behooved the Pontifical State to issue 
forty millions of livres or thereby, for a population numbering 
from three to four millions of souls, including Romagna and [315] 
Umbria, which the Pope still claimed. The Florence government 

314 Pius IX. And His Time 

remonstrated against the issue of forty million livres, on the 
ground that the Pontiff could not now actually count more than 
from 600,000 to 700,000 subjects. Napoleon III., always inclined 
to gratify the revolution, summoned Pius IX. to suspend the 
issue of his exaggerated coinage, three-fourths of which, it was 
insisted, should be cast anew with the effigy of Victor Emmanuel. 
This interference of Napoleon was considered inopportune and 
unacceptable, the operation of coining being almost completed. 
Cardinal Antonelli maintained the right of the Holy See. The 
French and Italian governments agreed to exclude from their 
circulation, and consequently from that of the whole monetary 
union, all silver coins which bore the meek and noble likeness 
of Pius IX. This they did without offering to the public any 
explanation. The revolutionary party, however, were too honest 
not to supply this want. They at once gave circulation to the 
rumor that the coinage of the Pope was of inferior quality. He 
was pointed out as a money-counterfeiter by the thousand organs 
of the infidel press. The people, grossly deceived, repelled with 
indignation, as if it were that of a robber, the likeness of the 
representative of justice on earth. The Catholics, meanwhile, 
observed with pain that while this storm of calumny was raging, 
one of their own number, once a champion of the temporal 
power, held in the French government the portfolio of finance. 
The Pontifical treasury subjected itself to considerable sacrifices, 
in order to diminish the losses and silence the recriminations of 
those who were compelled to stop its money, which could no 
longer be circulated. Chemists, in the interest of truth, analyzed 
the depreciated metal, and declared that it was exactly of the same 
value as the coinage of Napoleon III. But neither the officious 
nor the official press took the pains to publish this fact, and the 
calumny remained. The time was even then at hand, as French 
writers observe with pain, when France, in her downfallen and 
[316] exhausted condition, would have been glad to possess this 

Pontifical money and dispense with worthless paper. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 315 


This time of sorrow, mourning and difficulty was succeeded 
by a period of unwonted activity. It was deemed expedient 
to convoke an (Ecumenical Council. This important measure 
was thought of on occasion of the centenary celebration of the 
martyrdom of SS. Peter and Paul. After two years of serious and 
mature deliberation and consultation, Pius IX. issued apostolical 
letters, convening a council of the whole church at the Vatican 
Basilica. The 8th of December, 1869, was appointed as the day 
for its first assembling. The objects in view cannot be better 
described than in the words of the venerable Pontiff. After a few 
preliminary paragraphs in his Bull of Indiction, the Holy Father 
thus proceeds: 

"The Roman Pontiffs, in the discharge of the office divinely 
confided to them in the person of Peter of feeding the entire 
flock of Christ, have unweariedly taken on themselves the most 
arduous labors, and used every possible means in order to have 
the various nations and races all over the earth brought to the light 
of the Gospel, and by truth and holiness to eternal life. All men 
know the zeal and unceasing vigilance with which these same 
Roman Pontiffs have kept inviolate the deposit of faith, discipline 
among the clergy, purity and science in the education given to 
the members of the church, the holiness and dignity of Christian 
marriage: how they studied day by day to promote the Christian 
education of the youth of both sexes, to foster among all classes 
the love of religion, the practice of piety and purity of morals 
as well as everything that might conduce to the tranquillity, 
the good order and the prosperity of civil society. Whenever 
great troubles arose, or serious calamities threatened either the 
church or social order, the Roman Pontiffs judged it opportune 
to convoke general councils, in order that with the advice and 
assistance of the bishops of the Catholic world, whom the Holy [317] 
Ghost hath established to rule the Church of God, they might, 

3 1 6 Pius IX. And His Time 

in their united wisdom and forethought, so dispose everything 
as to define the doctrines of faith, to secure the destruction of 
the most prevalent errors, defend, illustrate and develop Catholic 
teaching, restore and promote ecclesiastical discipline and the 
reformation of morals. 

"No one at the present time can be ignorant how terrible 
is the storm by which the church is assailed, and what an 
accumulation of evils afflicts civil society. The Catholic Church, 
her most salutary doctrines, her most revered power, the supreme 
authority of this Holy See, are all assailed and trampled on by 
the bitter enemies of God and man. All that is most sacred is 
held up to contempt; ecclesiastical property is made the prey 
of the spoiler; the most venerable ministers of the sacraments, 
men most eminent for their Catholic character, are harassed by 
unheard of annoyances. The religious orders are suppressed, 
impious books of every kind and pestilential publications are 
disseminated, wicked and pernicious societies are everywhere 
and under every form multiplied. The education of youth is, in 
almost all countries, withdrawn from the clergy, and, what is far 
worse, intrusted in many places to teachers of error and evil. 

"In consequence of all these facts, to our great grief and that 
of all good men, and to the irreparable ruin of souls, impiety, 
corruption of morals, unbridled licentiousness, the contagion 
of depraved opinions, and of every species of pestilential vice 
and crime, the violation of all laws, human and divine, prevail 
everywhere to such an extent, that not only religion but human 
society itself is thrown into the most deplorable disorder and 

"Wherefore, following in the footsteps of our illustrious 
predecessors, we have deemed it opportune to call together a 
General Council, as we had long desired to do. 

"This (Ecumenical Council will have to examine most 

[318] diligently, and to determine what it is most seasonable to do, in 

these calamitous times, for the greatest glory of God, the integrity 

Pius IX. And His Time. 3 1 7 

of faith, the splendor of Divine worship, the eternal salvation of 
men, the discipline of the regular and secular clergy, and their 
sound and solid education, the observance of ecclesiastical laws, 
the reformation of morals, the Christian education of youth, 
the common peace and universal concord. With the Divine 
assistance, our labors must also be directed towards remedying 
the peculiar evils which afflict church and state; towards bringing 
back into the right road those who have strayed away from truth 
and righteousness; towards repressing vice and error, in order 
that our holy religion and her saving doctrines may acquire 
renewed vigor all over the earth, that its empire may be restored 
and increased, and that thereby piety, modesty, honor, justice, 
charity and all Christian virtues may wax strong and nourish for 
the glory and happiness of our common humanity." 

It has been alleged and persistently maintained by the enemies 
of the Holy See, that Pius IX. sought only to promote his own 
importance by convening a General Council. Of this calumny 
the foregoing words, which so plainly and distinctly set forth the 
purposes of the council, afford an abundant refutation. No man 
holding a great public office can fulfil faithfully the duties of 
that office without exalting his own character in the estimation 
of mankind. Ought he then, because such things exalt him, to 
leave them undone? This would, indeed, be mistaken humility. 

Councils, although not an essential element in the government 
of the church, are had recourse to in times of difficulty, in order 
to settle doctrinal disputes, promote morality and establish or 
restore discipline. With the exception of the Apostolic Council 
of Jerusalem, no council was held for the first three hundred 
years of the church's existence. The church, nevertheless, as 
regarded her spiritual state, was highly prosperous and extended 
rapidly. Councils came as exigencies arose, and when there was 
no insuperable impediment to their assembling. They were in 
their time a source of great and lasting good, whilst their record [319] 
remains shedding light on the centuries as they pass. There 

318 Pius IX. And His Time 

had already been eighteen (Ecumenical Councils, that of Trent, 
held three hundred years ago, having been the last. Causes like 
to those which occasioned the earlier councils, although in a 
different state of the world and human society, appeared to call 
for such action on the part of the church as should powerfully 
influence the passing age, and cause the light of Divine revelation 
to penetrate the dark places of the nineteenth century. It was 
resolved, accordingly, to convoke the (Ecumenical Council of 
the age. 


It was the duty of the Commission of Direction to decide as 
to who had a right to be called to, and to sit in, the council. This 
commission consisted of five cardinals who were presidents, 
eight bishops and a secretary, the Archbishop of Sardis. There 
was no difference of opinion. A question, however, arose as to 
the right of vicars-apostolic to be invited to the council. They 
were bishops, indeed, but without ordinary jurisdiction. Hence 
the doubt as to their right to be called. Neither their admissibility, 
if invited, nor of their decisive vote when admitted was at all 
questioned. The precedents and practice of the Holy See were 
in favor of their being called. It was also dreaded lest their 
exclusion should give rise to questions as to the cecumenicity of 
the council. All bishops, undoubtedly, were entitled to be invited. 
It was decided, therefore, that bishops, vicars-apostolic, should 
be bidden to the council. The Bulls by which former councils 
had been convoked called together archbishops, bishops, etc. 
The law, therefore, making no distinction between bishops in 
ordinary and such as were vicars-apostolic, neither could the 
commission. Ubi lex non distinguit nee nos distingnere debemus. 

It was a far more serious matter to invite "the bishops of the 

Oriental rite who are not in communion with the Apostolic See." 

[320] An earnest and affectionate letter of invitation was addressed 

to them. It was presented to the Patriarch of the "Orthodox" 

Greek Church, who did not consider it worth while to open 

Pius IX. And His Time. 3 1 9 

it. On the same day, it is related, four millions of Bulgarians 
notified to this patriarch their withdrawal from his jurisdiction. 
Many bishops of the Greek patriarchate were deeply moved by 
the most kind and pressing appeal of the Holy Father. He had 
beseeched and conjured them in the most earnest manner "to 
come to the general assembly of the bishops of the West and 
of the whole world, as their fathers had come to the second 
Council of Lyons and that of Florence, in order that, renewing 
the charity which existed of old, and restoring the peace which 
prevailed in the early ages, the fruits of which time has snatched 
from us, we may behold at last the pure and bright dawn of 
that union which we so ardently desire." The separated bishops 
to whom these touching words were addressed, appear to have 
been profoundly moved. A goodly number, even, actuated by 
the paternal intentions of the Holy Father, were strongly inclined 
to meet his advances; but so powerful was the example of the 
Greek Patriarch of Constantinople, that none of them dared to 
take the lead. The non-united Patriarch of Armenia replied that 
he would attend the council. But he failed to do so. 

A very considerate letter was also addressed to Protestants 
and all non-Catholics. Needless to say it was not responded 
to. At the Council of Trent the same attention was shown, but 
with an equally unsuccessful result. Julius II. had published 
the condition on which alone non-Catholics generally could be 
invited, viz.: that they should recognize the Divine authority 
of the Church. It was not surely to be expected that, on 
occasion of the meeting of a General Council, the Catholic Church 
should abandon, in favor of a comparatively small number of 
dissenters, her fundamental claim to Divine commission, which 
was acknowledged throughout all Christendom. The bishops of 
the Anglican Church were astonished and irritated on finding that 
they were invited only as other Protestants, and not convoked 
along with the Fathers of the Council. Rome thus plainly [321] 
intimated to them that they have yet to prove their consecration 

320 Pius IX. And His Time 

and right to episcopal dignity. 

Rev. Dr. Cumming of London, a minister of the Scotch 
Presbyterian Church, asked, through Archbishop Manning, to 
be allowed to lay before the council such arguments as could 
be adduced in support of Protestant opinions. Pius IX. caused 
the following reply to be sent to the learned minister: "The 
decisions of former councils could not be shaken by bringing 
them anew into question, and by discussing what had been 
already examined, judged and condemned." Two months later, 
30th October, 1869, having been informed that his words might 
have been misunderstood, and that certain Protestants imagined 
that all access to the Holy See was henceforth closed against 
them, the Holy Father, in a new Bull which he very considerately 
issued, declared that: "Far from repelling any one, we, on the 
contrary, make advances towards all. To those who, led astray by 
their education, believe in the truth of their opinions, we, by no 
means, refuse the examination and discussion of their arguments. 
This cannot be done within the council; but there are not wanting 
learned theologians whom we shall designate to them, and to 
whom they can open their minds. May there be many who, in 
all sincerity, shall avail themselves of this facility! We earnestly 
pray that the God of mercy may bring about this happy result." 


A statement of the number of Fathers who attended the 
council, at any particular time during its celebration, can hardly 
convey an accurate idea of the numbers who took part in its 
proceedings. Some were always arriving and others departing. 
Some fell sick, and a few died. The number in attendance, 
however, was always considerable. An official list, published 
by the Apostolic Chamber, shows the number and quality of 
such as were entitled to be present, and who could have attended 
except on account of hindrances arising from sickness, age or 
[322] impediments thrown in their way by the governments under 

which they lived. These included 55 cardinals, 11 patriarchs, 

Pius IX. And His Time. 321 

7 primates, 159 archbishops, 755 bishops, 6 abbots, 22 mitred 
abbots-general, 29 generals and vicars-general of orders; in all, 
1,044. A later official list of 1st May states the total number 
at 1,050, new primatial, archiepiscopal and episcopal churches 
having been erected in the meantime. 

On the 8th December there were at Rome: 49 cardinals, 9 
patriarchs, 4 primates, 123 archbishops, 481 bishops, 6 abbots, 
22 abbots-general, 29 vicars and vicars-general of orders; in all, 
723 Fathers. On 20th December there were 743. 

The following Bishops of England were in attendance at the 
council: The Most Rev. Archbishop Manning, of Westminster; 
the Most Rev. Dr. Errington, Archbishop of Trebizonde; the 
Right Rev. Dr. Grant, of Southwark; the Right Rev. Dr. 
Cornthwaite, of Beverly; the Right Rev. Dr. Uullathorne, of 
Birmingham; the Right Rev. Dr. Clifford, of Clifton; the Right 
Rev. Dr. Chadwick, of Hexham; the Right Rev. Dr. Amherst, 
of Northampton; the Right Rev. Dr. Roskell, of Nottingham; 
the Right Rev. Dr. Vaughan, of Plymouth; the Right Rev. Dr. 
Turner, of Salford; the Right Rev. Dr. Brown, of Shrewsbury. 

There was a somewhat longer list of Irish bishops, viz.: His 
Eminence Paul, Cardinal-Archbishop of Dublin; the Most Rev. 
Dr. McGettigan, Primate of all Ireland, Archbishop of Armagh; 
the Most Rev. Dr. Leahy, Archbishop of Cashel; the Most 
Rev. Dr. McHale, Archbishop of Tuam; the Right Rev. Dr. 
Derry, of Clonfert; O'Keane, Fermoy; Kelly, Derry; Moriarty, 
Kerry; Leahy, Dromore; Gillooly, Elphin; McEvilly, Galway; 
Furlong, Ferns; O'Hea, Ross; Dorrian, Down and Connor; Butler, 
Limerick; Conaty, Kilmore; Nulty, Meath; Donnelly, Clogher; 
Power, Killaloe; McCabe, Ardagh. 

The hierarchy had not yet been restored in Scotland; so 
that country could send only three bishops to the (Ecumenical 
Council. These were the Right Rev. John Strain, Vicar- 
Apostolic, Edinburgh (afterwards, in the restored hierarchy, [323] 
Most Rev. Archbishop of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh); the 

322 Pius IX. And His Time 

Most Rev. Dr. Eyre, Archbishop, Glasgow; the Right Rev. 
Dr. McDonald (in the restored hierarchy, Bishop of Aberdeen), 
Vicar-Apostolic, Preshome. 

All the other civilized nations, with scarcely an exception, 7 
sent their bishops to the general assembly of the Church. France 
supplied the greatest number, eighty-one. The kingdom of the 
Two Sicilies came next, being represented by sixty-eight bishops. 
Next came the States of the Church, sending sixty-two bishops. 
From Great Britain and Ireland, with the colonies, including 
Canada, went fifty-five bishops to the great council. Austria and 
Hungary were nobly represented by forty-three bishops. Spain 
and the United States of America sent each forty prelates, and 
the States of South America, thirty; whilst of the Oriental rites 
there were forty-two bishops. Piedmont, Tuscany, Lombardy 
and Venetia, together with Modena and Parma, Prussia, Bavaria, 
Mexico, Belgium, Holland, Portugal, Switzerland, the Isles of 
Greece, and even the Turkish empire, cheerfully willed that the 
Catholic prelates of their lands should bear their part in the grand 
(Ecumenical Council which was now about to assemble. All 
these, with the cardinals, abbots, mitred abbots and generals of 
religious orders, who were also members of the great assembly, 
made up the goodly number which has already been adverted to. 8 


The subjects for discussion were expressed in schemata, or 
draft decrees, which were drawn up by a "congregation," or, as 
we should say, a committee of one hundred and two ecclesiastics, 
who were cardinals and others learned in theology and canon law, 
selected from many nations on account of their superior wisdom 

7 If Russia were a little more within the pale of civilization, it would be noted 
as an exception. Its bishops were not allowed to proceed to Rome. 

8 The number of prelates at Rome attending the council was never, for any 
length of time, the same. And writers give the numbers according to the time 
at which they noted them. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 323 

and experience. By these alone the schemata were prepared. [324] 
They bore not so much as the shadow of the supreme authority. 
So the council was perfectly at liberty to accept or reject, to 
change or to modify them, as it should deem fit and proper. 
Of this we are assured by the words of the Pope, who, in his 
"Constitution," at the commencement of the council, informed 
the bishops that he had not given any sanction to the schemata, 
and that consequently in regard to them there was complete 

The schemata, six in number, were very comprehensive. It is 
deeply to be regretted that the council was not allowed time to 
discuss them all. They concerned: 

1. Catholic doctrine in opposition to the manifold errors 
flowing from rationalism. 

2. The Church of Christ. 

3. The office of bishops. 

4. The vacancy of sees. 

5. The life and manners of the clergy. 

6. The Little Catechism. 

The schema on the Church of Christ necessarily involved the 
question of infallibility. As this question, more than any other 
subject, appears to have disturbed the equanimity of the outside 
world, it may not be inappropriate to consider the preliminary 
labors, as regarded it, of the great theological commission. The 
schema on the Church of Christ extended to fifteen chapters. 
Having treated, at length, on the body of the church, the 
commission or committee of 102 theologians could not fail 
to treat also of the Church's Head. On this point they prepared 
two chapters. The one spoke of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff, 
the other of his temporal power. In treating of the primacy, its 
endowments also necessarily came under discussion. Among 
these claimed the first place the Divine assistance in matters of 

324 Pius IX. And His Time 

faith which was promised to Peter, and in Peter to his successors. 
This is nothing less than infallibility. 

On the 14th and 21st of January, the commission discussed 
[325] the nature of the primacy. On the 11th of February, it took up 

the question of infallibility. It was enquired: 1st, whether the 
infallibility of the Roman Pontiff can be defined as an article 
of faith; 2nd, whether it ought to be so defined? The first 
question was answered unanimously in the affirmative. To the 
second, all, with one exception, replied, expressing concurrence 
in the judgment that the subject ought not to be proposed to the 
council unless it were demanded by the bishops. The wording 
of the judgment is as follows: Sententia commissionis est, 
nonnisi ad postulationem episcoporum rei hujus propositionem 
ab apostolica sede faciendum esse. ("The judgment of the 
commission is that this subject ought not to be proposed by 
the Apostolic See, except at the petition of the bishops.") One 
member of the commission considered the discussion of the 
subject inopportune. On account of his dissent, the chapter 
bearing on infallibility was never completed. 

Thus for a second time was the question of infallibility 
deliberately set aside. As for Pius IX. himself, he had no 
desire any more than he had need to propose that there should be 
a dogmatical definition. Even as his predecessors in all preceding 
ages, he was conscious that his primacy was complete. He had 
acted on this conviction, exercising his sublime privilege with 
universal consent, in the face of all Christendom. In 1854, 
1862 and 1867, the bishops had abundantly testified in his favor. 
If an authoritative declaration was called for, it could only be 
on account of the few who disputed and doubted, and the still 
smaller number who denied that the Head of the Church on earth 
can neither err in faith and morals, nor lead into error the church 
of which he is divinely constituted the Supreme Teacher. 


On the 7th of December, 1869 — Vigil of the Immaculate 

Pius IX. And His Time. 325 

Conception — Pius IX., attended by an imposing suite, repaired 
to the Church of the Twelve Apostles, in order to inaugurate 
solemnly a period of nine days' prayer in honor of the Blessed 
and Immaculate Mary. The following day, at an early hour, [326] 
the cannon of the Castle of St. Angelo announced to the holy 
city the great event that had been so long looked forward to. 
As early as six o'clock a.m. the three naves of St. Peter's were 
filled with a crowd of the faithful, and all the approaches to 
the Basilica were thronged with people. At nine o'clock was 
seen the magnificent procession of mitred abbots, bishops and 
archbishops, primates, patriarchs and cardinals, that preceded 
the sedia gestatoria which bore the Pope. The sacred cortege 
required about an hour to traverse the hall (atrium) and the chief 
nave of St. Peter's, and reach the left 9 arm of the cross which 
forms the immense Basilica, and which had been set apart and 
prepared as a vast chamber for the celebration of the council by 
that skilful architect, Virginius Vespignani. 

1 ,044 Fathers were invited to be present as members of the 
council. 803 attended at the opening. Of these there were six 
archbishops who were also princes, forty-nine cardinals, eleven 
patriarchs, six hundred and eighty archbishops and bishops, 
twenty-eight abbots, and twenty-nine generals of religious orders. 
The entire number surpassed by one hundred and thirty-five the 
united numbers of all the Fathers of Nice, Constantinople and 
Ephesus. The day had gone by when the European sovereigns 
could be bidden to an (Ecumenical Council. Several of their 
representatives, however, attended at the opening. The highest of 
the Roman nobility were also present. The Colonna and Orsini 
families enjoyed the honor of being princes attendant at the Papal 
throne on occasion of all the public ceremonials of the council. 
Others of the Roman nobility, sovereigns and princes, at the 
time in the city, were present. Among these were the ex-King 

9 The left arm looking from the door of the Basilica, the right looking from 
the high altar. As was fitting, it was the Gospel side. 

326 Pius IX. And His Time 

of Naples, the Empress of Austria, the ex-Duke and Duchess of 
Tuscany, the ex-Duke and Duchess of Parma, together with the 
Doria and Borghese families. Several foreign princes, General 
Kanzler, commander-in-chief of the Papal forces, and General 
Dumont, who commanded the French battalions in garrison at 
[327] Rome, likewise attended. 

The hymn, Veni Creator, was sung, and immediately thereafter 
the first session of the Vatican Council was formally opened with 
the celebration of High Mass. At the conclusion of mass, the 
secretary of the council placed upon the altar the Book of the 
Gospels, which always remained open throughout the session. 
The council then heard a sermon, and the Holy Father intoned the 
S ynodal prayers , which were folio wed by the Litany of the S aints . 
Immediately after the chanting of the Gospel, Pius IX. made an 
allocution to the following effect: "You are met, venerable 
brethren, in the name of Jesus Christ, to bear witness with us to 
the word of God; to declare with us to all men the truth, which 
is the way that leads to God; and to condemn with us, under the 
guidance of the Holy Ghost, the doctrines of false science. God 
is present in His holy place; He is with our deliberations and our 
efforts; He has chosen us to be His servants and fellow-workers 
in the great work of His salvation. Therefore, knowing well our 
own weakness, and filled with mistrust of ourselves, we lift up 
our eyes and our prayers to Thee, O Holy Ghost, to Thee the 
source of true light and wisdom." 

The Veni Creator having been once more sung, the Bishop of 
Fabriano read from the Ambo the decree ordaining the opening of 
the council. It was in substance as follows: "Is it the pleasure of 
the Fathers that the (Ecumenical Council of the Vatican should 
be opened, and should be declared open for the glory of the 
Most Holy Trinity, the custody and declaration of the faith and 
of the Catholic religion; for the condemnation of errors which 
are widely spreading, and the correction of clergy and people?" 
The council replied unanimously placet. The Pope then declared 

Pius IX. And His Time. 327 

the council to be opened, and fixed the second public session for 
the feast of the Epiphany, January 6, 1870. The session closed 
with the Te Deum and the Pontifical benediction. All the public 
sessions which were afterwards held were opened pretty much in 
the same manner. [328] 


At this time the council and the Catholic world had to bewail 
the death of two very eminent Fathers. Cardinal de Reisach was 
a man of great and varied learning, of large and refined culture of 
mind, and was fitted in a special way to understand the diversities 
of thought which met in the Vatican Council. His loss to the Holy 
See, great as it would have been at any time, was more seriously 
felt at the meeting of the council, in preparing for which he had 
borne a chief part. Cardinal de Reisach was not only one of the 
foremost members of the Sacred College in the public service 
of the church, but in private life he was greatly and deservedly 
loved for his genial and sympathetic character. 

The late illustrious Bishop of Southwark, the Right Rev. 
Thomas Grant, whose zeal induced him to proceed to Rome in 
the height of a serious illness, was also torn away from the cares 
of this life and the affection of many friends, when, a little later, 
he was about to address a luminous discourse to the assembled 
Fathers. Whilst he stood in the midst of them, there occurred a 
crisis of his malady from which he never rallied. He was visited 
on his deathbed, which was that of the faithful servant, by Pius 
IX., who held him in the highest esteem. 


Preparatory to the second session of the council, various 
commissions were constituted. That of postulates or propositions 
was appointed by the Pope, and consisted of cardinals who had 
experience, both as residents of Rome and formerly as nuncios 
at foreign courts, together with archbishops and bishops selected 
from each of the chief nations in the council. Its members were 

328 Pius IX. And His Time 

twelve cardinals, two patriarchs — Antioch and Jerusalem — ten 
archbishops, among whom was the Archbishop of Westminster, 
and two bishops. 

It was resolved that the other commissions should be elected 
[329] by the universal suffrage of the council. The Commission of 

Faith was elected in the Third General Congregation, on the 
20th of December. It was composed of twenty-five members, 
among whom were remarked the successor of Fenelon in the 
archiepiscopal see of Cambrai, the Archbishop of Westminster 
and the Archbishop of Cashel (Ireland), three American bishops, 
Baltimore, San Francisco, Rio Grande. 

The Commission of Discipline consisted of twenty-four 
members, who represented as many nations — the Bishop of 
Birmingham, on the part of England. 

The Commission on Religious Orders was also chosen; the 
Bishop of Clifton representing England. 

No more being necessary at the earlier sittings of the council, 
the nomination of all other commissions was postponed. 


The second public session was held on the feast of the 
Epiphany, January 6th, 1870. It had been always customary at 
general councils to make a profession of faith. This custom was 
not departed from at the Vatican Council. As at Constantinople, 
A. D. 381, and Chalcedon, A. D. 481, was recited the Creed of 
Nicea, and at subsequent councils was solemnly professed the 
faith as expressed by those which had preceded them; so at the 
Council of the Vatican were repeated the articles of Catholic 
belief, as handed down through Trent and the more ancient 
councils. First of all, the Holy Father, rising from his seat, read, 
in a distinct voice, the definitions of the Council of Trent, known 
as the Creed of Pope Pius IV. The same profession of faith was 
then read from the Ambo by the Bishop of Fabriano. As soon as 
he had done so, the other Fathers of the Council expressed their 

Pius IX. And His Time. 329 

adhesion by kissing the Gospel at the throne of the Chief Pastor. 
Seven hundred bishops of the church, representing more than 
thirty nations and about 10 three hundred millions of Christians, 
thus solemnly professed, with one heart and mind, the same 
faith in the same form of words. In this wonderful unanimity [330] 
there is more than nature and philosophy. Through all the 
changes of nearly nineteen hundred years, this intellectual unity 
of faith, although minutely defined at Nicea, Constantinople and 
Trent, has endured unchanged. We cannot but behold in this 
immutability of Divine faith something far beyond the power of 
human wisdom. It is surely providential that, in the face of so 
much unbelief, such witness should have been borne to the unity 
and universality of the Catholic faith. 

And now closed the second public session of the Vatican 


Preparatory to the opening of the third public session of 
the council, the schema "on Catholic faith and on the errors 
springing from rationalism" was discussed by thirty-five bishops 
in the general congregations, between the 1 8th of December and 
the 10th of January. It contained eighteen chapters, and was 
sent back to the Commission on Faith in order to be completely 
remodeled. It was a grand theological document, and was cast in 
the traditional form of conciliar decrees, taking its shape, as they 
did, from the errors which it was intended to condemn. It was 
somewhat archaic, perhaps, in language, but worthy to rank with 
the decrees of the Councils of Toledo or of Lateran. Having been 
referred to the Commission on Faith, it was again distributed 
to the council in its new form on the 14th of March, wholly 
recast, and was received with general approbation. This new 
document is quite of a distinct character, and not to be compared 
with the schema by which it was preceded. It contained, instead 

10 According to the best statistics that can be found. 

330 Pius IX. And His Time 

of eighteen chapters, only an introduction and four chapters, in 
which every sentence is full of condensed doctrine, the whole 
having impressed upon it a singular beauty and splendor of Divine 
truth. The commission was engaged in recasting this schema 
until the end of February. Its subject-matter was what may 
well be considered the first foundations of natural and revealed 
[331] religion, viz.: the existence and perfections of God, the creation 

of the world, the powers and office of human reason, revelation, 
faith, the relation of reason to faith and of faith to science. As a 
consequence of these truths came the condemnation of atheism, 
materialism, pantheism, naturalism and rationalism. 

Whilst the non-Catholic world believed that the Pope and 
the Fathers of the Council were bestowing all their care on 
one subject which happened to be more prominently before the 
public, they were, on the contrary, laboring with the greatest 
pains to elucidate every subject as it came up for consideration. 
As has been seen, the most important schema on Catholic faith 
had been already very carefully discussed. On the 1 8th of March 
a second discussion took place in the general congregation (or 
committee of the whole council) on a report being made by 
the Primate of Hungary. Nine bishops then discoursed on the 
text of the schema, after which, no Father desiring to speak 
more upon it, the general discussion ended. Each chapter in 
particular now came to be discussed. In the debate on the first 
chapter sixteen Fathers took part; on the second, twenty; on the 
third, twenty-two; on the fourth, twelve; in all, seventy-nine 
spoke. This discussion occupied nine sittings, and only ended 
when no one desired to speak any further. The amendments of 
the bishops were sent with the schema to the commission. As 
soon as they were printed and distributed they were examined 
by the commission, when a full report was made in the general 
congregation on the introduction, and the amendments were put 
to the vote. The text of the introduction was then once more 
referred. Each of the four chapters was treated in the same 

Pius IX. And His Time. 331 

manner. To the first there were forty-seven amendments, which, 
being printed and distributed, the commission reported, and the 
amendments were put to the vote. Still another revision, and 
the first chapter was adopted, almost unanimously, on the 1st of 

The second chapter had sixty-two amendments. Referring to 
the commission, revising, reporting and voting followed, as in 
the case of the first chapter, when the second was referred back 
for final amendment. [332] 

The third chapter had one hundred and twenty-two 
amendments. The same process was followed, in regard to 
these amendments, as in the case of the first and second chapters. 
The proceedings lasted two days. 

The fourth chapter had fifty amendments, which were 
subjected to the same process as those of the three first, and 
sent back to the commission. On the same day, 8th April, the 
second chapter as amended was passed, and on the 12th of April, 
the third and fourth, the former unanimously, the latter almost 
so. When the whole was put to the vote, no non placet was 
given, whilst there were eighty-three placets juxta modum. The 
amendments were all sent, as before, to the commission, and 
printed in a quarto volume of fifty-one pages. The report was 
made on the 10th of April, and on the same day the amended 
text was unanimously accepted. All the time between the 14th 
of March and the 19th of April was consumed in passing this 
first schema. Sixty-nine members of the council spoke. Three 
hundred and sixty-four amendments were made, examined and 
voted upon. Six reports were made by the commission upon the 
text, which, after its first recasting, had been six times amended. 
The decree was finally adopted unanimously by the assembled 
Fathers, all who were present, six hundred and sixty-seven, 
voting in the third public session, on Low Sunday (Dominica 
in Abbis), 24th April. This solemn vote of the council was 
confirmed by the Pope, who, on the occasion, spoke as follows: 

332 Pius IX. And His Time 

"The decrees and canons contained in the Constitution just read 
were accepted by all the Fathers, no one dissenting; and we, the 
Sacred Council approving, by our apostolical authority, so define 
and confirm them." Continuing, he addressed the Fathers of the 
Council: "You see, beloved brethren, how good and pleasant it 
is to walk in the House of God in unity and peace. As our Lord 
gave to His apostles, so I, His unworthy Vicar, in His name, give 
peace to you. That peace, as you know, casts out fear; that peace 
shuts the ear to unwise words. May that peace go with you in all 
the days of your life; may that peace be with you in death; may 
[333] that peace be your everlasting joy in heaven." 

After much deliberation and painstaking, the third public 
session of the council came to a close. 

At less formal sittings was discussed the discipline relating to 
bishops. On this subject thirty-seven Fathers discoursed in the 
council. Seven sittings were employed in discussing discipline 
as concerns the clergy, and thirty-seven Fathers spoke. Forty- 
one Fathers took part in discussing the schema on the Little 
Catechism. The discussion occupied six sittings. There was 
no hurrying of matters in the council. None of the discussions 
were closed until none of the Fathers desired further to be 
heard. All the schemata, it is almost needless to say, having 
been discussed, were referred to their respective commissions, 
in order to be revised in accordance with the speeches and the 
written amendments of the bishops. 

Pius IX., meanwhile, was most anxious to aid and promote 
the labors of the council. Notwithstanding the great increase 
of ecclesiastical business occasioned by the presence in Rome 
of so many prelates, the affairs of whose churches, as well as 
their own more personal matters, required no small degree of 
attention, he followed, with unabated interest, every stage of 
its proceedings, and caused a minute account to be given to 
him every day of what was done in the various committees. 
These unwonted cares, and the unusual amount of labor and 

Pius IX. And His Time. 333 

fatigue which they entailed, never induced him to omit any of 
those devotional offices with which he was accustomed to renew 
and strengthen his soul. He would not hear of any hurrying 
in the discussions on the first schema — that on faith, but, on 
the contrary, gave due praise to the pains and labor bestowed 
by the Fathers on every chapter, word and sentence. It was 
their object to secure that complete accuracy and perfection of 
expression which could not fail to prove eminently useful in all 
time to come. As has been already remarked, the Fathers of the 
"Congregations" and "Commissions" labored most assiduously 
in preparing, for the acceptance of the council, the schema on 
faith and doctrine. In the course of the six weeks that it was 
under review, seventy-nine discourses were delivered, three [334] 
hundred and sixty-four amendments proposed, examined and 
voted upon, while six reports were made upon the text of the 
schema, which had been six times amended. The introduction, 
the four chapters and the eighteen canons, having finally passed 
the council, were approved by the Holy Father, adopted and 
promulgated as a Papal "Constitution," which will be known 
in history as the Constitution Dei Filius. It is a masterpiece 
of theological science, and may be compared to priceless gems 
artistically arranged by skilful hands in the richest settings. 

It would be idle, indeed, to recount all the hard and absurd 
things that have been said by the enemies of the council and 
the Catholic religion. One of their accusations, if well founded, 
would be truly crushing. Some scientists, who claim to be very 
profound, deem it necessary to abjure the Catholic faith, because 
the Vatican Council has placed an impassable gulf between 
religion and science, faith and reason. The council anticipated 
and met this accusation which is so vigorously and persistently 
urged by the false science of the day. Let us quote from its 
"Constitution:" "Although faith is above reason, there can never 
be any real discrepancy between faith and reason, since the same 
God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the 

334 Pius IX. And His Time 

light of reason on the human mind, and cannot deny Himself, 
nor can truth ever contradict truth. The false appearance of such 
a contradiction is mainly due, either to the dogmas of faith not 
having been understood and expounded according to the mind 
of the church, or to the inventions of opinion having been taken 
for the verdicts of reason. And not only can faith and reason 
never be opposed to one another, but they are of mutual aid the 
one to the other. For right reason demonstrates the foundations 
of faith, and, enlightened by its light, cultivates the science of 
things divine; while faith frees and guards reason from errors, 
and furnishes it with manifold knowledge. 

"So far, therefore, is the church from opposing the cultivation 
[335] of human arts and sciences, that it, in many ways, helps and 

promotes it. For the Church neither ignores nor despises the 
benefits to human life which result from the arts and sciences, 
but confesses that, as they came from God, the Lord of all 
science, so, if they be rightly used, they lead to God by the help 
of His grace. Nor does the Church forbid that each of these 
sciences, in its sphere, should make use of its own principle and 
its own method. But while recognizing this just liberty, it stands 
watchfully on guard, lest the sciences, setting themselves against 
the Divine teaching, or transgressing their own limits, should 
invade and disturb the domain of faith." 


There was only one point in the discussions on the Church of 
Christ in which the outside world appeared to take an interest, 
and it is one which the council did not at first contemplate taking 
into consideration. The Fathers appear to have resolved to limit 
themselves, in treating of the Church, and consequently of the 
Head of the Church on earth, to the discussion of the primacy 
of the Supreme Pastor and of his temporalities. The commission 
of one hundred and two cardinals, and other learned theologians, 
had even set aside the question of infallibility when it came 
before them, one of their number pronouncing a decision on it 

Pius IX. And His Time. 335 

as inopportune. A great majority of the bishops, however, were 
strongly of opinion that in view of the outcry which had been 
raised on this point, the opportunity of an (Ecumenical Council 
being held should not be allowed to pass without defining the 
belief of the Church in regard to the unerring nature of the 
decisions, in matters of doctrine and morals, of the successor of 
St. Peter. At their request, accordingly, it was ordered that the 
important subject should be introduced in the eleventh chapter 
of the schema on the Church, and prepared in the usual way for 
the consideration of the council. It could not be laid before the 
Fathers sooner than the 18th of July, when the fourth solemn 
session was held. It is proper to remark here that the doctrine 
in question was never discussed, either in the congregations or [336] 
committees of the whole council, as to its Divine origin, or as to 
the fact of its having been revealed; not one of the seven hundred 
members of the council expressed any doubt as to this. There 
was no discussion except as to the opportuneness of defining to 
be of faith what all believed to be so. The schema having passed 
through all the preparatory stages, finally assumed the form of 
a "dogmatic constitution," which will be known in history as 
the Constitution, Pastor ceternus, from the words with which it 
commences. This Constitution was brought before the council at 
a solemn session, the fourth and last which it held, the 1 8th July, 
1870. The session was opened with all the usual solemnities. 
The Pope himself presided in person. The Mass of the Holy 
Ghost having been celebrated, the Sacred Scriptures were placed 
upon the lectern on the high altar, and, as was customary, the 
Veni Creator was sung. The Bishop of Fabriano then read the 
Constitution, or decree de Romano Pontifice, from the Ambo 
(pulpit), and the Fathers of the Council were invited to vote. 
Each Father, accordingly, as his name was called, took off his 
mitre, rose from his seat and voted. Of the five hundred and 
thirty-five who were present, five hundred and thirty-three voted 
placet (aye), whilst there were only two nays. The secretary 

336 Pius IX. And His Time 

of the council, together with the scrutineers, advanced to the 
Pontifical throne and declared the result. The Holy Father then 
confirmed the decision in the usual form. He prayed, at the same 
time, that they who had considered such a decision inopportune, 
at a time of unusual agitation, might, in calmer days, unite with 
the great majority of their brethren, and contend with them for the 
truth. The insertion here of the allocution which he delivered on 
the occasion cannot but prove acceptable to all English readers: 

"Great is the authority with which the Supreme Pontiff is 
invested. This authority, however, does not destroy. It builds 
up. It does not oppress. But, on the contrary, sustains. Very 
[337] frequently it behooves it to defend the rights of our brethren, 

the bishops. If some have not been of the same mind with us, 
let them consider that they have formed their judgment under 
the influence of agitation. Let them bear in mind that the Lord 
is not in the storm (2 Kings, xix., 1 1). Let them remember that, 
a few years ago, they held the opposite opinion, and abounded 
in the same belief with us, and in that of this most august 
assembly, for then they judged in the untroubled air. Can two 
opposite consciences stand together in the same judgment? 
By no means. Therefore, we pray God that He who alone 
can work great things, may Himself enlighten their minds 
and hearts, that all may come to the bosom of their Father, 
the unworthy Vicar of Jesus Christ on earth, who loves them 
and desires to be one with them, and, united in the bond of 
charity, to fight with them the battle of the Lord. Thus shall 
our enemies not dare to deride us, but rather be awed, and 
at length lay down the arms of their warfare in the presence 
of truth; so that all may say, with St. Augustine: 'Thou hast 
called me unto Thy wonderful light, and behold I see.' " 

Te Deum was now chanted, the Pope intoning the sublime 
hymn, and with the Pontifical benediction, ended the fourth 
solemn public session of the Vatican Council. With this council 
also ended all discussion within the church on those questions 

Pius IX. And His Time. 337 

in regard to which it pronounced authoritatively. No doubt the 
enemies of the Catholic faith would have been better pleased 
if there had been absolute unanimity when the final vote was 
taken on the widely-discussed question of infallibility. Such 
a coincidence would have afforded them a pretext, although, 
indeed, a groundless one, for asserting that there was either 
collusion or compulsion, whilst in reality there was complete 
liberty. The two Fathers who voted, nay, constituting a minority 
of two, acted according to their right, and it was not questioned. 
These Fathers were Monsignor Louis Riccio, Bishop of Casazzio, 
in the kingdom of Naples, and the Right Rev, Edward Fitzgerald, 
Bishop of Petricola (Little Rock, Arkansas), in the United 
States of America. Immediately after the confirmation of the [338] 
"Constitution," these two prelates, advancing to the Papal chair, 
solemnly declared their adhesion to the act of the council. The 
four dissentient cardinals — Rauscher, Schwarzenberg, Mathieu 
and Hohenlohe — who had left the council when the fourth session 
was held, also, in their turn, expressed their assent to the decision 
of the assembled Fathers. The opposing bishops did in like 
manner. All of them, not excepting Strossmayer, Bishop of 
Sirmium, who was the most eloquent orator of the minority in 
the council, and who appeared to hesitate longer than the rest, 
ended by promulgating all the decrees of the council in their 
respective dioceses. This is more than could be said of Nicea, 
Chalcedon and Constantinople. For the first time, no bishop 
persisted in resisting the decisions of an (Ecumenical Council. 
It was now acknowledged by the whole episcopate that those 
measures were timely, wise and salutary, which the Church, ever 
guided by the Spirit of God, had deemed it proper to adopt, but 
which so many, awed by the spirit of unbelief which was abroad, 
had judged were inopportune. 

It may have been merely a coincidence. But there can be no 
doubt that grandeur was added to a scene, in itself sufficiently 
imposing, when, as on Sinai of old, lightning flashed and thunder 

338 Pius IX. And His Time 

pealed, as the Fathers of the Council solemnly rose to give their 
final vote. "The placets of the Fathers," writes the correspondent 
of the London Times( Aug. 5, 1870), "struggled through the storm 
while the thunder pealed above, and the lightning flashed in at 
every window, and down through the dome and every smaller 
cupola. 'Placet!' shouted his Eminence or his Grace, and a 
loud clap of thunder followed in response, and then the lightning 
darted about the Baldacchino and every part of the church and 
council-hall, as if announcing the response. So it continued 
for nearly one hour and a half, during which time the roll was 
being called, and a more effective scene I never witnessed. Had 
all the decorators and all the getters-up of ceremonies in Rome 
been employed, nothing approaching to the solemn grandeur of 
[339] the storm could have been prepared, and never will those who 

saw it and felt it forget the promulgation of the first dogma 
of the church." Less friendly critics beheld, in this magnificent 
thunder-storm, a distinct voice of Divine anger, condemning the 
important act of the assembled Fathers. Had they forgotten Sinai 
and the Ten Commandments? All of a sudden, as the last words 
were uttered, the tempest ceased; and, at the moment when Pius 
IX. intoned the Te Deum, a sun-ray lighted up his noble and 
expressive countenance. The voices of the Sixtine choristers, 
who continued chanting the hymn, could not be heard. They 
were lost in the united concert of the venerable Fathers and the 
vast assemblage. 


In whatever light we view the Council of the Vatican — the 
oecumenical of the nineteenth century — it strikes us as being, 
in ecclesiastical annals, the event of the age. It also marks, in 
a remarkable manner, the character and progress of the time. 
The Council of Trent was highly important in its day; and still, 
after a lapse of three hundred years, its teachings govern the 
Church. Whilst, as regards the wisdom of its decisions, it cannot 

Pius IX. And His Time. 339 

be excelled, it was surpassed in many things by the Council of 
the Vatican. 

Trent was attended by comparatively few bishops, who were 
from Europe, the Eastern Church and the countries bordering on 
the Mediterranean. The Vatican Council consisted of prelates 
from at least thirty different nations, from the remotest regions of 
the habitable globe, from the numerous churches in India which 
owed their origin to the apostolic zeal of St. Francis Xavier, from 
North and South America, China, Australia, New Zealand and 
Oceanica. One-fifth of the churches existed not as yet in the time 
of Trent which sent their bishops to represent them at the Vatican 
Council. The countries in which many of these churches flourish 
had no place, when the Council of Trent was called, on the map 
of the world. From those vast regions which now constitute the 
United States of America, there was not so much as one bishop [340] 
at Trent. At the Vatican Council there were no fewer than sixty. 
There were never more than three bishops of Ireland present 
together at Trent, and four only were members of that council. 
Twenty Irish prelates attended the Vatican Council. England sent 
only one bishop to Trent. He is mentioned as Godveus Anglus, 
Episc. Asaphensis. The Catholics of England were represented by 
thirteen English bishops at the Council of the Vatican. Scotland 
had no representation at Trent. The Catholics of that country 
were most worthily represented at the Vatican by Bishop Strain, 
now Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh; Archbishop 
Eyre, of Glasgow, and Bishop McDonald, of Aberdeen. There 
was only a very small number of English-speaking bishops at 
Trent. At the Vatican Council they were particularly numerous, 
constituting, as nearly as can be calculated, one-fifth of the 
assembled Catholic hierarchy. At Trent there were not many 
bishops from countries speaking different languages. Twenty- 
seven languages, and various dialects besides, were represented 
by prelates at the Vatican. 

The greater facilities for travelling, which this favored age 

340 Pius IX. And His Time 

enjoys, no doubt rendered it more easy to attend the Council 
of the Vatican than it was to journey to Trent, even from the 
nearest lands. Nevertheless, there was laborious journeying to 
the Vatican. Prelates from the vast regions of Asia and Africa, 
America and Australia, knew what they would have to encounter, 
but they were not deterred. Some, on their way to the Vatican, 
travelled for whole weeks mounted on camels before they could 
reach the ports at which it behooved them to embark. Bishop 
Launy, of Santa Fe, was forty-two days on his land-journey, and 
travelled on horseback. Such of the laity as visited Trent were 
comparatively few, and only from places not very distant. One 
hundred thousand pilgrims, many of them from the most remote 
regions, repaired to the Vatican. The number of Fathers at any 
one time in council at Trent was somewhat under three hundred. 
[341] Seven hundred and eighty-three took part in the Council of the 

Vatican. The Council of Trent, however, must not be underrated. 
It was a most important council, and admirably calculated to 
meet the wants of the time. It marked an era in the history 
of the Church. It provided remedies for numerous evils, and 
safety in the midst of danger. It became a power which time 
has not diminished. For three hundred years it has guided the 
destinies of Peter's barque, prelates and people wisely accepting 
its discipline, and meekly obeying its rule. It added, no doubt, 
to the importance of the Vatican Council that it was held at 
Rome, in the very centre of Catholicity and of Catholic unity, 
and near the tombs of the martyred apostles, the founders of 
the Church. In this it contrasts with Trent, which, although the 
Fathers assembled at an obscure village in the Tyrol, was not 
less, on this account, an (Ecumenical Council. Papal legates 
presided at Trent, whilst the Holy Father himself was present at 
all the solemn sessions of the Vatican Council which have as yet 
been held. 


There was no intention at first, as has been shown, of laying 

Pius IX. And His Time. 341 

the question of infallibility before the council. It happened, 
however, that a great clamor, in regard to this question, came 
to prevail both within and without the Church. The enemies 
of the doctrine railed so strongly against it, and they who did 
not deny it declaimed so loudly against the opportuneness of 
pronouncing any decision concerning it, that it was positively 
forced upon the attention of the assembled Fathers. When, 
therefore, they came to discuss the primacy and the temporalities 
of the Sovereign Pontiff in connection with the Church of Christ, 
they hesitated not to consider, at the same time, his immunity 
from error when speaking, as Head of the Church and successor 
of Saint Peter, ex cathedra on matters of faith and morals. The 
learning of theologians and the ability of orators were brought 
into requisition, and the fact came prominently out that it had been 
according to the mind of the Church at all times, that the Pope, [342] 
the successor of St. Peter, is divinely assisted when pronouncing 
solemnly ex cathedra on questions of faith and morals. When so 
pronouncing, the decisions of the Supreme Pastor have always 
been accepted by the Church, whether dispersed or assembled 
in council. It is a received belief among Christians that to 
every legitimate office is attached a grace of vocation. Is it 
not, therefore, in accordance with reason and Christian faith, 
that such grace should belong, and specially to the highest and 
most important of all offices? Such grace or assistance was 
promised to St. Peter, and through him to his successors, who 
are appointed to bear witness throughout all time to the truths of 
Divine revelation. For our blessed Lord declared, "I am with you 
all days." He could not better have secured the permanence of 
his religion — the kingdom of God on earth, for the salvation of 
men in every age of the world. When the Supreme Pastor speaks 
in the exercise of his sublime office, the Church also speaks. 
The teaching and testimony of the Head of the Church and of 
the great body of the Church are identical. They must always 
be in harmony, as was so admirably shown by the decision of 

342 Pius IX. And His Time 

the council on infallibility and the confirmation thereof by the 
Holy Father — confirma fratres tuous — "confirm thy brethren." 
Let not the opponents of the Church and her salutary doctrines 
be carried away by the idea that a subservient council wished 
only to glorify their spiritual Chief by ascribing to him imaginary 
personal gifts. They were incapable of any such thing. They were 
an assembly of the most venerable men in Christendom, who 
felt all the weight of their responsibility to God and men in the 
exercise of their sacred functions. Their decision has not altered 
the position of the Supreme Pastor. Any writings or discourses 
which he may produce in his merely personal or more private 
capacity are received by the Christian world with that degree 
of consideration to which they are entitled on account of the 
estimation in which he is held by men as a theologian and a man 
of learning and ability. It is only when pronouncing solemnly 
[343] ex cathedra, as the successor of St. Peter and the Head of the 

Church, on questions of faith and morals, that he is universally 
believed to be divinely assisted so as to be above the danger of 
erring, or of leading into error — in other words (and we cannot 
help who may be offended), that he is infallible. 


Events were now at hand which made it impossible for the 
council to hold another session. The French Emperor had greatly 
fallen, in the estimation of the people of France, from the time of 
his shameful abandonment of the chivalrous Maximilian and the 
popular design of establishing a Latin empire on the continent 
of America. In order to make amends and regain his prestige, 
he had revived the idea, so dear to the French, of rectifying the 
Rhine frontier of France by resuming possession of Luxembourg 
and some other adjacent provinces. He formally intimated his 
design to Prussia. That Power, however, aware of its rights and 
conscious of its military superiority, declined all negotiation on 

Pius IX. And His Time. 343 

the subject. From that moment Prussia held herself in readiness 
to repel, with the sword, if necessary, any insolence that, in 
the future, might proceed from her aggressive neighbor, for 
whose tottering throne war was a necessity. The candidature 
of Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern for the throne of Spain now 
afforded a pretext, which Napoleon III. was only too anxious 
to find, for provoking by a fresh insult his powerful rival. It 
may be that he dreaded the accession of strength which might 
eventually accrue to Prussia if the crown of Spain were placed 
on the head of a Prince of the house of Hohenzollern. Napoleon 
remonstrated, and threatened war. The youthful German prince 
generously renounced a candidature which it was not hard to see 
would lead to a rupture between the two Powers, and cause a 
destructive war. The King of Prussia, head of the Hohenzollerns, 
sanctioned, if he did not command, this act of moderation on 
the part of the prince, his relative. But moderation was of no [344] 
avail. Napoleon, surrounded by a Jacobinical ministry, insisted 
upon war. The very idea of proposing a German for the throne 
of Spain appeared to him to be a sufficient cause for issuing a 
declaration of hostilities. The gauntlet thus thrown down, the 
Prussian monarch was too chivalrous to decline the challenge. He 
relied on his great military strength, and could afford to despise 
the comparatively inferior preparations of the French Empire. 
With the vast resources of France at his command, the Emperor, 
one would suppose, might have managed, in the course of three 
years, to increase and discipline his army, garrison his fortresses 
and seek alliances. He might have taken more time if necessary. 
He had no need to precipitate events, as he so recklessly did, 
by declaring war when there was positively no preparation made 
for it. We shall presently see whether he were not one of those 
whom Providence deprives of reason when it has resolved on 
their destruction. In the absence of more effective preparations, 
the small garrison at Rome of five thousand men was withdrawn 
in order to augment the army which all France believed was 

344 Pius IX. And His Time 

destined to crush the formidable Teuton and capture Berlin. If, 
however, this had been Napoleon's only object in recalling the 
troops, he could have accomplished it as easily by ordering four 
thousand five hundred of the Roman garrison to join the invading 
army, leaving the remaining five hundred to guard the city of 
the Popes. This smaller number would surely have been as able 
as five thousand to repel a Piedmontese force of sixty thousand 
men. But there was question of more than mere physical power. 
So long as it was evident that France protected the Papal city, 
whether by a greater or smaller number of soldiers, the legions 
of Piedmont never would have marched against it. Napoleon's 
minister, M. de Gramont, revealed the pretext: "It is certainly not 
from strategetical necessity that we evacuate the Roman States, 
but the political urgency is obvious. We must conciliate the 
[345] good-will of the Italian Cabinet." Much, indeed, it availed them. 

Viterbo was evacuated on the 4th of August. The last remnant 
of French troops embarked at Civita Vecchia, partly on the 
4th and partly on the 6th, the very days on which the French 
army experienced its first reverses at Weissemberg, Wcerth and 
Spikeren. Instead of hesitating to perform a most cowardly act, 
which, viewing it only politically, proclaimed his weakness to 
all Europe, the Emperor Napoleon made all haste to complete it. 
He expressed regret. Who will say that he was sincere? Had he 
not perfected the master-work of his reign — his grand transalpine 
scheme? The Piedmontese minister, Visconti Venosta, gives a 
very distinct reply. Writing to the Piedmontese representatives 
at foreign courts, this minister says that as several governments 
had desired to know their views in regard to the relation of 
passing events with the Roman question, his government had no 
hesitation in making the clearest explanations. The convention of 
15th September, 1864, had not sufficed to avert the causes arising 
abroad which hindered the settlement of the Roman difficulty. 
He then accuses the Roman Court of having assumed a hostile 
attitude in the centre of the peninsula, and that the consequences 

Pius IX. And His Time. 345 

of such a position might be serious for Piedmont on occasion 
of the Franco-Prussian war and the complications to which it 
might give rise. Visconti Venosta further states that the basis 
of a new and definite solution of the Roman question had been 
confidentially recognized in principle, and was subject only to 
the condition of opportunity. 

It is no pleasure, surely, to convict the late Emperor of a 
deep-laid conspiracy to revolutionize the Roman State, and rob 
the Holy Father of his time-honored patrimony. But there is no 
escaping the conclusion that he had never ceased to plot with 
the revolutionists. He was not yet vanquished and fallen himself 
when he left the Sovereign Pontiff to his enemies. 

One of the chief calumnies of the time was directed by 
the revolutionists against Pius IX. They accused the venerable 
Pontiff of encouraging the Prussian monarch to wage war against [346] 
France. The falsehood of this accusation can only be equalled 
by its absurdity. The Holy Father, on the contrary, earnestly 
endeavored, although in vain, before the commencement of 
hostilities, to avert the dire calamity of war. So early as 22nd 
July, 1870, he interposed between the two rival sovereigns. 
"Sire," he wrote to the King of Prussia, "in the most serious 
circumstances in which we are placed, it will appear to you 
unusual to receive a letter from me. But as I hold the office of 
Vicar of the God of peace in this world, I cannot do less than 
offer you my mediation. It is my desire that all preparations for 
war should disappear, and that the evils which inevitably follow 
should be prevented. My mediation is that of a sovereign who, 
in his capacity of king, cannot, on account of the smallness of 
his territory, excite any jealousy, but who, nevertheless, will 
inspire confidence by the moral and religious influence which he 
personifies. May God hear my prayers! and may He also accept 
those which I offer for your Majesty, with whom I desire to be 
united in the common bond of charity. 

Pius PP. IX." 

346 Pius IX. And His Time 

"I have written also to the Emperor of the French." 

The King of Prussia replied from Berlin on the 30th July. The 
kindly monarch expressed himself beautifully and with the finest 
feeling: "Most blessed Pontiff — I was not surprised but deeply 
moved when I read the feeling words which you wrote, in order 
to cause the voice of the God of peace to be heard. How could 
I be deaf to such a powerful appeal? God is my witness that 
neither I nor my people have desired this war. In fulfilment of the 
sacred duties which God lays on sovereigns and on nations, we 
have drawn the sword in order to defend the independence and 
honor of our country, and we are prepared to lay it down as soon 
as these blessings shall no longer be in danger of being torn from 
us. If your Holiness could offer me, on the part of him who has 
so unexpectedly declared war, the assurance of sincerely pacific 
dispositions and of guarantees against a renewal of such violation 
of the peace and tranquillity of Europe, I certainly would be far 
[347] from refusing to accept them at the venerable hands of your 

Holiness, united as I am with you by the bonds of Christian 
charity and true friendship. William." 

The letter of Pius IX. to the French Emperor has not been 
published, and it is not known whether Napoleon deigned to 
reply. One thing is certain. He did not either accept the mediation 
or heed the remonstrances of the Holy Father. He was equally 
deaf to the warnings of his old allies of Crimean fame. The British 
government despatched to Paris a member of the cabinet, who, 
in a prolonged interview with the demented Emperor, argued 
earnestly on the part of Queen Victoria and her ministry against 
his purposed violation of the peace of Europe by undertaking an 
unprovoked, unjust and irrational war. 

The war broke out. It was waged disastrously to the French. 
Pius IX. was deeply grieved. "Poor France!" he exclaimed, as he 
heard of each new defeat of the nation that he loved so well. He 
interposed once more. But with the like ill success. Neither could 
the Germans be checked in their victorious career, nor could the 

Pius IX. And His Time. 347 

vanquished French be induced to acknowledge their defeat and 
seek such terms of peace as might possibly have been obtained. 
On 1 2th November, 1870, the Holy Father wrote to Mgr. Guibert, 
Archbishop of Tours, in whose palace was resident a delegation 
of the French government. 

"Neglect nothing," wrote the Pontiff, "we conjure you, in 
order to prevail on your illustrious guests to put an end to this 
war. Nevertheless, we are not unaware that it does not depend on 
them alone, and that we should vainly pursue the great object of 
peace, if our pacific ministry did not also meet with support on 
the part of the conqueror. So we have not hesitated to write to 
this effect to his Majesty the King of Prussia. We cannot, indeed, 
affirm anything as to the favorable result of the step which we 
have taken. We have, nevertheless, some ground for hope, as this 
monarch has in other circumstances shown us much good-will." [348] 

Unfortunately, the bold men who had assumed supreme 
authority in France, and had undertaken the difficult task of 
saving the country, were incapable of accepting good advice, 
especially when it came from a Pope. The King of Prussia 
and his minister, on the other hand, were of the number of 
those whom victory intoxicates, and whom the power to dare 
everything deprives of all sense of moderation. Pius IX. did not 
know them as yet. The representations of Mgr. Guibert to Messrs. 
Cremieux, Glais Bisoin and Gambetta, were not more successful 
than those of Mgr. Ledochowski, Archbishop of Posen, who 
hastened to the presence of King William at Versailles. The 
earnest endeavors of the archbishop met with less consideration, 
to all appearance, at least, although it does not appear that, on 
this occasion, William made any reply to Pius IX. 

Notwithstanding these untoward circumstances, the Holy 
Pontiff never lost confidence in the nation of Charlemagne 
and St. Louis. France, he said, although sadly exhausted and 
bathed in blood, would yet show excellent fruits. 

The Piedmontese government, which had been for some time 

348 Pius IX. And His Time 

established at Florence, now resolved to avail itself of the 
disasters of France to seize the city of the Popes, and to constitute 
it the capital of regenerated Italy. The minister, Visconti Venosta, 
in a circular letter, renewed his calumnies, pretending that a 
hostile power existed in the centre of Italy, and hypocritically 
declared that it had become necessary that the government of his 
master should assume the protection of the Holy See. They would 
not wait, he said, moreover, till the agitation at home should lead 
to the effusion of blood between the Romans and foreign forces, 
but would proceed, as soon as they could learn that the opportune 
time had come, to occupy what remained to the Holy Father of 
the Roman States. The information which the minister sought 
came with remarkable rapidity. The day after the circular alluded 
to was written, another minister, Signor Lanza, declared that the 
solemn moment had arrived when the government of his king 
[349] was called upon, in the interest of the Holy See and of Italy, to 

take measures for the national safety. An envoy was despatched 
to Rome, with a letter to the Pope, assuring him that the king's 
government was firmly resolved to give the necessary guarantees 
for the spiritual independence of the Holy See, and that these 
guarantees would be hereafter the subject of negotiations with 
the Powers that were interested in the Papacy. In addition to this 
mockery of diplomacy, Victor Emmanuel himself wrote to the 
Pope, expressing his filial devotedness, while at the same time 
he was preparing, from an excess of affection, to bombard his 
city and slay his defenders, to rob him from an excessive zeal for 
justice, to imprison him in order to set him free, and, finally, that 
he ought to allow all this to be done without complaint, and even 
thank the good king who took so much care of him. 

The Florentine Envoy, Signor Ponza di San Martino, when 
he came to Rome, made his first visit to Cardinal Antonelli, 
who received him politely, and did not refuse to ask for him 
an interview with the Pope. The cardinal, however, declined to 
have any conversation with him on the object of his mission. "I 

Pius IX. And His Time. 349 

know already," said he, "all that you could tell me. You are also 
aware of the reply that I would give. Force, not argument, speaks 
at present." Pius IX. was more afflicted than surprised when he 
read King Victor Emmanuel's letter. He was particularly pained 
by the tone of this document. "How the revolution has abased a 
Prince of the House of Savoy! It is not satisfied with dethroning 
kings as often as it can, and with committing their heads to 
the guillotine. It must also dishonor them." The envoy insisted 
that the king was sincere; that he was more convinced than any 
other, that the independence of the Chief of the Church was a 
necessity; and that he offered real and substantial guarantees to 
this independence. "And who will guarantee these guarantees" 
asked the Pope. "Your king cannot promise anything. He is 
no longer a king. He depends on his parliament, which, in its 
turn, depends on the secret societies." The ambassador, more [350] 
disconcerted than ever, remarked on the difficulties of the time. 
He claimed, although timidly, that the king ought to be judged 
according to his intentions, as at the time he was constrained by 
the aspirations of four-and-twenty millions of Italians. "Your 
statement is untrue, sir," replied Pius IX. "You calumniate Italy ! 
Of these four-and-twenty millions, twenty-three millions are 
devoted to me, love and respect me, and only require that the 
revolution leave them and me in peace. The remaining million 
you have poisoned with false doctrines and inspired with base 
passions. These unfortunate people are the friends of your king 
and the instigators of his ambitious designs. When they have 
no longer need of him they will cast him aside. My answer 
will be communicated to you to-morrow. I am too much moved 
with grief and indignation to be able to write at present." Next 
day, accordingly, 11th September, the following reply to Victor 
Emmanuel was conveyed to Signor Ponza: 

"Sire, — Count Ponza di San Martino has handed me a letter 
which it has pleased your Majesty to address to me. This letter is 
not worthy of an affectionate son who glories in professing the 

350 Pius IX. And His Time 

Catholic faith, and who prides himself on being royally loyal. I 
dwell not on the details contained in the letter, in order to avoid 
renewing the pain which a first reading of it gave me. I bless 
God, who has permitted that your Majesty should overwhelm 
with bitterness the last years of my life. I cannot admit the 
demands made in your letter, nor adopt the principles which it 
contains. I call upon God anew, and commend to Him my cause, 
which is also wholly His own. I beseech Him to bestow abundant 
graces on your Majesty, to deliver you from all danger, and to 
grant you all the mercy which you require." This answer was not 
waited for. Victor Emmanuel made haste to become the declared 
enemy of Pius IX. On 1 1th September, the Pontifical territory was 
invaded by his orders at three different points — Aquapendente, 
in the north: Orte and Correse, to the east; and on the south, 
[351] Ceprano. The invading army amounted to sixty thousand men. 

After the withdrawal of the French garrison, there remained only 
at Rome the few soldiers who constituted the army of the Pope. 
A great portion of these were, to the lasting honor of a remote 
British dependency, Canadians. They all deserved well of the 
Holy Father, and had imperilled their lives in his service. On 
occasion of the great difficulty which had arisen, accordingly, 
he was pleased to address to them in person special words of 
comfort and encouragement. 

It was evident that, in the adverse circumstances of the time, the 
Council of the Vatican could not long continue its deliberations. 
Accordingly, the Holy Father authorized such of the bishops as 
desired to retire to return to their dioceses until the feast of St. 
Martin, 11th November following, at which date it was intended 
to resume the labors of the council. It was not, however, strictly 
speaking, suspended. Some general congregations (committees) 
were still held, and the various deputations continued their 
studies. During this time, the bishops of the minority, one after 
another, expressed their adhesion. The bishops, on returning 
to their dioceses, were received with magnificent proofs of the 

Pius IX. And His Time. 35 1 

people's fidelity. Some parties pretending that the Constitution, 
Pastor ceternus, was not obligatory, because the council was not 
terminated, Cardinal Antonelli addressed to the Papal Nuncio 
at Brussels a letter under date of 1 1th August, which removed 
all doubt on the subject. The rapid march of events, however, 
rendered it necessary to interrupt the labors of the assembled 
Fathers. On 20th October, accordingly, Pius IX. published 
the Bull, Postquam Dei Munere, which suspended them for an 
indefinite period. 


When all the Pontifical forces had returned from the outposts, 
on the approach of the formidable Piedmontese invader, and 
were concentrated at Rome, they numbered not more than some 
ten thousand men. Such an army was quite inadequate to cope 
with the superior power of the Florence government. Pius IX., [352] 
therefore, in order to prevent an unavailing conflict, placed an 
order in the hands of his general-in-chief, to the effect that as 
soon as sufficient resistance was made, in order to show that 
violence was used against the Holy See, he should surrender 
the city. This was a trial to the devoted Papal Zouaves, who, 
during the few moments that fighting was allowed, conducted 
themselves in the most gallant style, and kept the enemy at bay. 
Their bravery deserved a better fate than that which befell them 
and the Roman State. Two lieutenants, Niel and Brondeis, fell, 
pierced with wounds, exclaiming with their last breath, "Long 
live Pius IX. !" A brave Alsacian fell by their side. A Canadian 
Zouave, Hormisdas Sauvet, was also wounded, and declared that 
he was more fortunate than so many of his fellow-countrymen 
who had been two years in the Pontifical service without the 
slightest accident. Another Zouave, whose name was Burel, 
when wounded in the mouth, and his tongue was destroyed, 
made a sign that he wished to write. Paper was brought to him, 
and he thus wrote his will: "I leave to the Holy Father all that I 
possess." He died the following day. The paper, all covered with 

352 Pius IX. And His Time 

blood, was taken to Pius IX., who, in his turn, bedewed it with 
tears, and desired to keep it as a memorial. 

The Italian general Cadorna, an apostate priest, commenced 
bombarding Rome at five points. At one of these, between 
the gates Pia and Salara, they speedily effected a breach in an 
old wall about two feet in thickness, and built of bricks and 
tufa. It may be conceived with what feelings the brave Papal 
soldiers beheld the storming column enter the city, whilst they, 
in obedience to orders, remained inactive spectators. They bore 
in silence and without moving an arm the insults and even the 
violence of the fierce soldiery of Piedmont. Finally, after a white 
flag had been displayed for some time on the Pontifical side, 
almost in vain, General Kanzler had an interview with Cadorna, 
at the Villa Albani. It can hardly be said that a convention was 
resolved on. It would be more true to write that the terms of the 
[353] conqueror were imposed on the vanquished, and, as a matter 

of necessity, accepted. The soldiers were better treated than in 
such circumstances could well be expected. They were allowed 
to march out of Rome with the honors of war, bearing with 
them their colors, arms and baggage. When once out of the city, 
however, they were all obliged to lay down their arms and their 
colors, with the exception of the officers, who were permitted to 
retain their swords, their horses and everything that belonged to 
them. Such soldiers as were foreigners were to be sent to their 
respective homes by the Italian government. The future position 
of the Pope's native troops was to be taken into consideration. 
By the articles of capitulation, it was settled that the Pope should 
be allowed only the Vatican Palace and that part of Rome which 
is called the Leonine city. Thus were carried into effect the 
views of those revolutionists of Paris and Turin who claimed to 
be moderate. Their programme was that which Prince Napoleon 
had concocted in 1861. 

It is deeply to be regretted that when so little resistance was 
required, so many of the Pope's brave defenders should have 

Pius IX. And His Time. 353 

fallen. Some were basely murdered in the streets on the nights of 
the 20th and 21st September. Without counting these, however, 
there were sixteen killed, of whom one was an officer, and 
fifty-eight wounded. Among these last there were two officers, 
two surgeons and a chaplain. The troops having been so hastily 
dismissed to their foreign homes, to Civita Vecchia, etc., it is 
possible that the list may be incomplete. The losses of the 
Piedmontese were never made known. It is certain, at any rate, 
that one hundred wounded were received at the hospital "de la 
Consolation" alone. 

Whilst Pius IX. neglected not to warn, remonstrate and use 
every fair and loyal art of diplomacy, he failed not, at the same 
time, to have recourse to the spiritual weapon of prayer. As the 
enemy approached his gates, he repaired to the Lateran Basilica, 
and there most earnestly addressed his supplications to the God of 
armies. Notwithstanding his great age, he ascended, on his knees, 
all the time absorbed in prayer, the twenty-nine steps of the Scala [354] 
Santa, which, at the Palace of Pontius Pilate, was consecrated by 
the footsteps of our suffering Saviour. On reaching the chapel at 
the head of the holy stair, he poured forth a prayer by which all 
who heard it were deeply moved. He beseeched our blessed Lord, 
whose humble servant and representative he was, to turn aside the 
wrath of heaven, to prevent the profanation of the holy places, to 
save his people. He conjured our most loving Saviour, by virtue 
of His passion, by the pain especially which He suffered when 
spontaneously ascending that same stair in order to undergo the 
mockery of judgment by His erring creatures, to have mercy on 
afflicted Rome, on His people, on His Church — His well-beloved 
and stainless spouse, to save her temples from desecration and 
her children from the sword. "Pardon," he concluded, "pardon 
my people, who are also Thy people. If Thou desirest a victim, O 
God! take Thy unworthy servant! Have I not lived long enough? 
Mercy! O God! have mercy, I beseech Thee! But whatever may 
happen, Thy holy will be done!" 

354 Pius IX. And His Time 

As was always the case when Pius IX. appeared among 
his people, he was received on this occasion with every 
demonstration of welcome. As soon as the inhabitants of the 
locality became aware of his presence, they thronged around his 
carriage in order to do him honor, and, urged by the circumstances 
of the time, with that freedom and familiarity of manner peculiar 
to the Romans, they added to their acclamations and cordial 
vivats words of encouragement and even advice. "Defend 
yourself. Holy Father! defend us! courage! courage!" A parting 
benediction, and he left his people of Rome to be with them no 

All the representatives of foreign States, with the exception 
of Von Arnim, the Prussian Ambassador, remained with the 
Holy Father, protesting by their presence against the flagrant 
violation of a solemn treaty which the Florence government was 
committing. It is not known that Von Arnim was instructed by 
[355] his government to act as he did. But none are ignorant that since 

that time it has dealt severely with him. The diplomatist who 
rejoiced over the fall of Rome has himself incurred disgrace, and 
undergoes the punishment of a banished man. 

Pius IX., complimenting the ambassadors, called to mind how 
they had afforded him much comfort on a similar occasion. This 
was in 1848, and at the Quirinal Palace. He informed them also 
that he had written to King Victor Emmanuel, but did not know 
whether he had received his letter. At any rate, he had little hope 
that it would have any result. His mention of the notorious Bixio, 
who was with the Italian army, was not without significance. 
This rabid red republican had threatened that if ever he entered 
Rome he would throw the Pope and cardinals into the Tiber. "His 
ideas," the Holy Father observed, "were now probably modified. 
He was with a king. May it please Heaven to effect a complete 
transformation and convert this Bixio and so many others." 

The students of the American College at Rome, the 
ambassadors were then told, had offered to take up arms in 

Pius IX. And His Time. 355 

the service of Pius IX. The Holy Father would not allow them to 
serve otherwise than by attending to the wounded. 

"I wish I could say that I count on you," said the Pope, 
addressing the ambassadors, "and that one of you will have the 
honor, as formerly, to extricate the Church and her Chief from 
difficulty. But the times are changed. The aged Pope, in his 
misfortunes, cannot rely on any one in this world. But the Church 
is immortal. Let this never be forgotten." 

General Kanzler now brought the intelligence that a breach 
was made, and the assault on the point of commencing. The 
Pope having conferred a few moments apart with Cardinal 
Antonelli, resumed his discourse: "I have just given the order to 
capitulate. We might still defend ourselves. But to what purpose? 
Abandoned by every one, I must yield sooner or later; and I must 
not allow any useless shedding of blood. You are my witnesses, 
gentlemen, that the foreigner enters here only by violence, and 
that if my door is forced, it is by breaking it open. This the world [356] 
shall know, and history will tell it, one day, to the honor of the 
Romans, my children. I speak not of myself, gentlemen; I weep 
not for myself, but for those unfortunate young men who have 
come to defend me as their Father. You will take care, each of 
you, of those of your country. There are some from all countries. 
I recommend them all to you, in order that you may preserve 
them from such maltreatment as others had to suffer ten years 
ago. I absolve my soldiers from their oath of fidelity. I pray God 
to give me strength and courage. Ah! it is not they who suffer 
injustice that are most to be pitied." Having thus spoken, he took 
leave of the ambassadors, with tears in his eyes. On the same 
day, Cardinal Antonelli, by his order, intimated the sad tidings to 
the governments of all civilized nations. Pius IX. also protested 
by an allocution to the cardinals. It only remains to chronicle 
the shameful violation of the treaty, which bound the French 
nation to protect the Holy Father, by the government temporarily 
established in France. "The September agreement," wrote a 

356 Pius IX. And His Time 

representative of the French republic, under the date of 22nd 
September, 1870, "virtually ceases to exist by the proclamation 
of the French republic. I congratulate the King of Italy, in the 
name of the French government and in my own name, on the 
deliverance of Home and the final consecration of Italian unity." 
Thus was disgrace added to the misfortunes of a great country. 

It was some time before order could be restored at Rome. 
From four thousand to five thousand vagrants and bandits, 
chiefly Garibaldians, entered the city at the heels of the invading 
force. The prisons were thrown open, and swelled the ranks 
of these disorderly bands. During two whole days that these 
lawless hordes were allowed to commit all kinds of excesses, 
houses were fired, valuable property destroyed or carried off, 
some eighty unoffending citizens put to death, and such of the 
Roman soldiers as were recognized cut down or thrown into the 
Tiber. Nor was the Italian general in any hurry to repress such 
[357] proceedings. "Lasciate ilpopolo sfogarsir," coolly said Cadorna 

to the parties who entreated him to put an end to such horrors. 
This general and the men with whom he acted were only robbers 
on a greater scale. Their commissioners lost not a moment. When 
tranquillity was somewhat restored, and complaints were made 
against housebreakers, it was found that everything was already 
confiscated — libraries, archives, colleges, museums, etc. 

Victor Emmanuel had need of the mob which followed his 
troops. Anxious to give a coloring of right to his brigandage, 
he resolved, according to the fashion of his Imperial patron and 
accomplice, to hold a plebiscitum. In the city of Rome, with 
the help of his numerous assemblage of vagrants, he had forty 
thousand votes, whilst against him there were only forty-six. 
Something similar was done in the landward part of the Roman 
State. Better, surely, no right beyond what the sword could 
give, than such a transparent semblance of right. No wonder that 
Victor Emmanuel's best friends condemned such an impolitic 
and ridiculous proceeding. None could be so simple as to believe 

Pius IX. And His Time. 357 

that there were only forty-six voters against him, when all the 
numerous officials, both civil and military, protested against his 
aggression by resigning their offices. It is bad enough when men 
in authority play fantastic tricks. When the play is badly played, 
the trickery becomes ridiculous. 

It now remained to adhibit the seal of permanency to the fait 
accompli. This was done by the following decree: 

Art. 1st. Rome and the Roman Provinces constitute an integral 
portion of the kingdom of Italy. 

Art. 2nd. The Sovereign Pontiff retains the dignity, 
inviolability, and all the prerogatives of a sovereign. 

Art. 3rd. A special law will sanction the conditions 
calculated to guarantee, even by territorial franchises, the 
independence of the Sovereign Pontiff and the free exercise 
of the spiritual authority of the Holy See. 

Thus was sacrificed to Italian unity the city of the Popes. 
Was the sacrifice essential? Florence might have well sufficed. 

It was of little avail that the brigands who followed the [358] 
Piedmontese army were compelled, by superior power, to 
moderate their violence. Their robberies were, for the most 
part, of a private nature, and committed on a small scale. Those 
of their superiors — the Piedmontese usurpers — were grander and 
more extensive. They astonished, if they did not terrify, by 
their magnitude and the daring which achieved them. There 
were palaces at Rome and soldiers' quarters which had satisfied 
all the requirements of Papal grandeur. These were nothing to 
the republican simplicity of the new order of things. No doubt 
the parliament which had just arrived from Florence required 
ample space. The costly equipages and hunting studs of a 
constitutional king were also to be provided for. Could not 
all this have been done, especially in such a vast city, without 
expropriating convents, desecrating churches, and even seizing 
for their purposes the refuges of the sick? It was more than an idea 

358 Pius IX. And His Time 

that required such spoliation. But what shall we say when we call 
to mind that the mere desire to modernize everything threatened 
the destruction of all those monuments which rendered Rome 
so dear to travellers from every clime? It had been hitherto 
the city of the Consuls, of the Emperors, of the Popes. It 
must now become a commonplace town, with straight lines, 
rectangles and parallelograms, like Philadelphia, New York, or 
the Haussmanized Paris of Napoleon III. The Royal Palace of 
the Popes, the Quirinal, was unscrupulously seized, in order to 
make a city mansion for the King of Italy. It was too magnificent, 
apparently, for this gentleman prince. He seldom entered it. It 
may be that he dreaded offending the revolution, to which he 
owed so much, by too great an affectation of royal style. If the 
gratitude of such a heartless thing could be relied on, he had no 
need to fear. Without the sword of Piedmont the revolution never 
could have entered Rome. 

Meanwhile, the Pope was engaged in most anxious 
deliberation. At last, considering the disturbed state of Europe 
[359] generally, he concluded that it was better for him to remain at 

Rome. A Pontifical ship, which had not been included in the 
articles of capitulation, awaited his orders in the waters of Civita 
Vecchia. This vessel was named the "Immaculate Conception;" 
and two years later, by order of his Holiness, was laid up at 
Toulon, under the protection of the flag of France. A French 
ship, the "Orenoque," was then placed at the disposal of Pius IX., 
in case he should wish, at any time, to leave Rome: and later, the 
"Kleber," which was stationed in the waters of Bastia (Corsica). 

The Holy Father had made up his mind so early as the first days 
of September, 1 870, to remain in the city. His presence, he felt 
confident, would so far prevent the evils which he feared. If he 
were gone, there would be less restraint on the usurping power, 
when it might wish to confiscate more convents, churches and 
church property generally. Almost all the foreign ambassadors 
remained with him; and this circumstance presented another 

Pius IX. And His Time. 359 

cause why the new government would be more moderate and 
circumspect in its attacks on property. 

A beautiful legend which the Holy Father recounted, at an 
interview with Cardinal De Bonnechose, was well calculated to 
reconcile the Catholic world to the stay of Pius IX. at Rome, 
even although he was there as a prisoner of the victorious king. 
And a prisoner he really was; for he could not have removed to 
any other country except by a successful stratagem, so closely 
guarded were all the approaches to the city by the myrmidons of 
the conqueror. Taking the cardinal aside, he informed him that 
he wished to present him with a memorial. "The object in itself is 
of little value. The intention with which I give it is all its worth." 
It was a small plate of ivory, framed in gold, surmounted by 
the arms of the Holy See, and representing in the most exquisite 
manner a moving scene in the life of St. Peter. "You behold the 
subject of my frequent meditations for many years. When the 
prince of the apostles, fleeing from persecution, quitted Rome, he 
met, not far from the gate of Saint Sebastian, our Lord Himself, [360] 
carrying His cross and looking extraordinarily sad: 'Domine 
quo radis? 7 'Lord, where are you going?' exclaimed Peter. T 
am going to Rome,' replied our blessed Lord, 'In order to be 
there crucified anew to die in your place, as your courage has 
failed you. ' " "Peter understood," continued the Holy Father, 
"and remained at Rome. I also remain. For if, at this moment, I 
left the eternal city, it would seem to me as if our Lord addressed 
to me the same words of reproach. The representation of this 
scene I am anxious to leave with you as a memorial. It may, 
in reality, be nothing more than a pious legend. But for me it 
in a decisive instruction." Pius IX. then delivered the precious 
medallion to the cardinal. 



In order to give a coloring to his usurpation in the eyes of 

360 Pius IX. And His Time 

Christian Europe, and to set at rest any scruples which may 
have remained in the minds of his adherents, Victor Emmanuel 
caused a law to be enacted on the 13th March, 1871, which is 
known as the law of guarantees. This law declared the person of 
the Sovereign Pontiff sacred and inviolable, recognized his title 
and dignity of sovereign, assured to him an annual endowment 
of 3,225,000 francs (£120,000), together with the possession of 
the Vatican and Lateran Palaces, as well as the Pontifical Villa 
of Castel Gandolfo, and provided for the complete liberty of 
all future Conclaves and (Ecumenical Councils. It requires two 
parties to every contract or agreement. The law of guarantees 
had no such condition, the Holy Father not being a party to 
it. He could not accept the honors which the new government 
pretended to confer, nor the money which it offered. It was not 
a government by any other law than that of the sword — that of 
a war not only undertaken against the unoffending, but also in 
violation of a solemn treaty. Neither was the treasure which it 
[361] proffered its rightful property. It held it, indeed; but only as 

the robber holds the purse of his victim, whilst he mocks him 
by an offer of alms. It was also the merest mockery to pretend 
to recognize the Pope as a sovereign, whilst, in reality, he was 
detained as a prisoner, who could not pass beyond the gate of 
his garden without coming into the custody of the armed police 
or soldiery of the usurper, By the provisions of this same law 
of guarantees, full liberty was secured to the Sovereign Pontiff 
in the exercise of his spiritual office. The persecutions to which 
the ministers of the Church were frequently subjected, when 
they dared to obey the orders of the Pope in fulfilling the duties 
of his and their ministry, show to what extent the framers of 
the law were sincere. It need only be added, without further 
comment, that article eighteen confiscated, by anticipation, all 
ecclesiastical properties, under the pretence that they were to 
be reorganized, preserved and administered. No wonder that 
the Pope stigmatized such a law as hypocritical and iniquitous. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 361 

In the supposition that he could have derived any benefit from 
accepting it, he would still have been at the mercy of a fickle 
king and parliament, to whom it was competent, at any moment, 
to change the law which they had made. The safety of the Holy 
Father, under Heaven, lay in this, that the newly erected kingdom 
of Victor Emmanuel was most ambitious to figure as a State 
among the States of Europe. To none of these would it have been 
pleasing to see the venerable Pontiff forcibly driven from the city 
of the Popes. It was necessary, as far as possible, to blindfold 

"I have, indeed, great need of money." said Pius IX., when the 
sum appropriated by the law of guarantees was first presented for 
his acceptance; "my children, everywhere, impose on themselves 
the most serious sacrifices in order to supply my wants, at all 
times so great, but to which you are daily adding. As it is a 
portion of the property that has been stolen from me, I could only 
accept it as restitution money. I will never sign a receipt which 
would appear to express my acquiescence in the robbery." Every 
succeeding year the form, or rather the farce, of offering the [362] 
subsidy was renewed and as often rejected. That the offer of so 
large a sum was hypocritical, and intended only for show, is well 
proved by the circumstance that the liberal Italian government 
deprived of their incomes and drove from their places of residence 
many bishops, whose wants were supplied in their great distress 
from the resources of the Holy Father. 

Love is stronger than hate; and so well-beloved was Pius IX. 
throughout Catholic Christendom, that contributions of money 
from every country where there were any Catholics were poured 
into his treasury, in such abundance as more than compensated for 
the loss of his Italian revenue. Not only were these contributions, 
under the name of Peter's pence, sufficient to maintain the 
venerable Pontiff during the remainder of his days, without its 
being necessary to accept, as a royal benefaction, any portion 
of the property that was stolen from him, they also sufficed to 

362 Pius IX. And His Time 

enable him to continue their salaries to his former employees, 
who had almost all remained faithful, as well as to those still 
required for his service and for transacting the business of the 
Church. In addition to this, he retained on half or quarter pay 
a number of the soldiers of his former army, and maintained 
his establishment of Vigna Pia, together with the hospital of 
Tata Giovanni, from which the new Roman municipality had 
meanly withdrawn the subsidy, for no other reason than that in 
former times it had been a favorite institution of Pius IX. This 
was not all. The Holy Pontiff maintained, by means of popular 
schools, a necessary warfare against both Protestant and Atheistic 
propagandism. The former had been very active ever since the 
occupation of Rome by the Piedmontese. The various Protestant 
societies actually spent £100,000 yearly in the vain attempt 
to Protestantize the Romans. By 1st January, 1875, they had 
erected three churches and founded twelve missionary residences 
in the interest of divers denominations — Anglicans, Methodists, 
American Episcopalians, Vaudois, Baptists, Anabaptists, etc. 
[363] The Italians have little taste for Protestantism in any of its 

forms. So there was no danger of discordant and jarring sects 
coming to prevail. It cannot be denied, however, that the 
movement increased the number of free-thinkers — a result no 
less calculated to afflict tho Holy Father. 

When to these expenses are added those of sustaining the 
Sacred College, the prelature, the guards, the museums, and 
bishops that were exiled for the faith, there is shown a monthly 
expenditure of more than six hundred thousand francs, which is 
equal to seven millions and a half yearly. These expenses always 
increased as the elder bishops passed away. Pius IX. appointed 
successors. But as none of these could, in conscience, ask the 
royal exequatur, which, notwithstanding article sixteen of the 
notorious guarantees, was still in force, Victor Emmanuel had no 
hesitation in suppressing the revenues of the bishops. Pius IX. 
sent to the bishops who were thus deprived of their legitimate 

Pius IX. And His Time. 363 

incomes five hundred francs monthly, and to archbishops from 
seven hundred to one thousand francs. He also labored to 
establish foundations for the education of ecclesiastical students 
whom a revolutionary and anti-Christian law made subject to 
military service, thus rendering morally impossible the following 
out of clerical vocations and the recruiting of the priesthood. 
From this and such like proceedings, it can easily be seen that the 
revolutionary regime, and the Italian government was nothing 
less, aimed at the extirpation of Christianity, and that civilization, 
the only possible civilization which follows in its train. 

Misfortune, meanwhile, was not neglected by the Holy Pontiff. 
He sent vestments to the churches of Paris which had been 
pillaged by the Commune. He provided, habitually, in like 
manner, for the churches of poor and remote missions. In July, 
1875, he sent twenty thousand francs to the people who had 
suffered by inundations in the southwest of France, and five 
thousand francs to such as had similarly suffered at Brescia, in 
Upper Italy. He bestowed, likewise, large sums for the rebuilding 
of churches — for instance, eight hundred francs for this pious 
purpose to the Bishop of Sarsina, and two thousand to the [364] 
Bishop of Osimo. Charitable institutions were not overlooked, 
and the Princess Rospigliosi Champigny de Cadore received fifty 
thousand francs towards the support of the house of St. Mary 
Magdalen, the object of which was the preservation of young 
women in the city of Rome. 

As regarded works of art or of public utility, the venerable 
Pontiff was no less munificent. He completed the restoration 
of the Church of Saint Ange in Peschiera, together with the 
magnificent contiguous portico called Octavia, and rebuilt the 
altar with the marbles found by Visconti in the emporium of the 
Emperors. The tomb of his illustrious predecessor Gregory VII., 
at Salerno, having become dilapidated, he undertook to restore it 
at his own cost, and renewed the fine epitaph which Pope Gregory 
himself had caused to be engraved on the sepulchral stone; Dileri 

364 Pius IX. And His Time 

justitiam et odici iniquitatem, et ecce in exilio mortor. (I loved 
righteousness and hated iniquity, and lo! I die in exile.) 

Quite a number of people were employed in the manufacture 
of mosaics at the Vatican. On this the Romans justly prided 
themselves. Pius IX. continued to employ these artists, and, as 
in former times, presented their works to his guests or to the 
churches of Italy. If he was not still a king, he retained, at 
least, a truly royal prerogative — that of conferring gifts in every 
way worthy of royalty. Nothing could exceed the delicacy and 
graciousness with which he did so. Of this the two Russian Grand 
Dukes, brothers of the reigning Emperor, were witnesses, when 
he made a present to them of a splendid table, in mosaic, which 
they were observed to admire among the more humble furniture 
of his apartment. The funds must have been, indeed, abundant 
which could meet so many demands. Although despoiled of his 
revenues and property, the Holy Father was a richer monarch 
than the prince who robbed him. So liberally were Peter's pence 
bestowed and so economically managed, that Pius IX. was able 
to invest money for the benefit of his successor, although not to 
such an extent as to render the collection of Peter's pence in the 
[365] future unnecessary. 

It has long been customary, on occasion of the august 
ceremony of the coronation of the Popes, to address to them, 
with due solemnity, the words: Annos Petri tu non ridebis. (Thou 
wilt not see the years of Peter.) It is related that one of the Popes 
thus replied to the ominous address: Non est defide. (That is no 
article of faith.) Pius IX., however, was the first who showed 
that the words were not strictly prophetic. His Pontificate was 
prolonged beyond the years of Peter at Rome. Already, on the 
10th of June, 1871, when he was enabled to celebrate the twenty- 
fifth anniversary of his election to the Pontifical chair, he had 
enjoyed more than the years of Peter. The great apostle, it will 
be remembered, spent two years after our Lord's ascension in 
preaching the Gospel at Jerusalem and throughout Judea. After 

Pius IX. And His Time. 365 

this, Antioch, at the time the capital of the Eastern world, became 
the scene of his apostolic labors. He was bishop there for seven 
years when he established the central seat of Christendom at 
Rome, the metropolis of the known world. The apostle remained 
there till his martyrdom under Nero, A. D. 67. Thus, Peter was 
Pope thirty-four years or so, whilst he was Bishop of Rome 
only twenty-five years and some days. A festival at Rome 
could not now be held with the wonted circumstance of outward 
religious pomp. The remarkable anniversary was not, however, 
less devoutly observed at the Basilicas of St. Peter and St. John 
Lateran. These immense edifices were crowded with people of 
all classes and of every age. Nor in this did the Romans stand 
alone. Prayers and communions were offered up in every diocese 
of the world, supplicating Heaven for a continuation of the years 
which had been already so auspiciously granted to the venerable 
Pontiff. More than a thousand congratulatory messages were 
flashed along the telegraph lines. All the sovereigns of Europe, 
with scarcely an exception, paid their dutiful compliments to 
Pius IX.; the telegram of Queen Victoria being the first that 
reached him. From the New World as well as from the Old there 
came numerous deputations. One day, in replying to them, [366] 
the Holy Father delivered no fewer than twelve discourses in 
Latin, French, Spanish and Italian. To many of the addresses was 
appended a singularly great number of signatures. The Bishop of 
Nevers presented one with two millions of names. 

A few days later, 20th September, the Holy Father had to 
lament the death of his brother, Count Gaetano Mastai. So 
little, however, was his grief respected by Victor Emmanuel and 
his government, that their cannon were heard booming joyously 
in honor of the violent occupation of the city. All Rome was 
indignant. Patrician and plebeian, all citizens alike, hastened to 
the Vatican, protesting and presenting addresses of condolence. 
The Riforma (a Roman journal) said, on the occasion: "After two 
years' sojourn Italy was still as much a stranger as on the first 

366 Pius IX. And His Time 

day, so that there was no appearance of friendliness, but rather 
of a city that still groaned under a military occupation, which it 
bore with the greatest impatience." 


Robbery, wholesale and sacrilegious, was now the order of 
the day at Rome. Throughout the city convents were closed and 
sequestrated, libraries were confiscated, and often dilapidated 
in transferring them from one place to another. Religious men 
and religious women were driven from their homes and brutally 
searched on their thresholds lest they should carry away with 
them anything that belonged to them. These religious people 
obtained, every month, as indemnification, twenty-five centimes 
each daily, and the aged forty centimes; but they were paid only 
when the treasury was in a condition to pay them, and this was 
not the case every month. The poor and the infirm, no longer 
sustained by Catholic charity, encumbered the hospitals or were 
associated with the knights of industry, who swarmed from the 
prisons of Italy. It was in vain that the police were doubled. 
Robberies increased in the same proportion. The people in such 
[367] circumstances could not but ask themselves what sacrifices were 

laid upon himself by the usurping king, who was now the master 
of the domains of six Italian princes who had never allowed their 
subjects to go without bread. Before the end of the year 1 873 , the 
number of religious houses that were taken, in whole or in part, 
from their legitimate proprietors, was over one hundred. The 
intervention of diplomacy saved for a time the Roman College, 
which was essentially international and not Roman, as formerly 
no clerks of the city of Rome could attend it, and as it was 
endowed solely by foreign kings and benefactors. The Italian 
government consented, not, indeed, to renounce, but only to stay 
this new spoliation. It claimed all the more credit for its pretended 
moderation, as it secretly caused the newspapers in its interest to 
instigate it to listen to no terms. By means of its gensd'armes and 

Pius IX. And His Time. 367 

its police force, it was master of the secret societies, and allowed 
them to raise a cry without allowing them to act, whilst it chose 
its own time for the execution of its wicked purposes. 

Pius IX. was deeply grieved when beholding so many evil 
deeds which he could not prevent. His sorrow found expression 
in one of his allocutions, that of 1st January, 1873: 

"You are come," said he, to parties who had come to 
compliment him on New Years day, "from divers distant lands in 
order to offer me your congratulations and wish me a happy new 
year. The past year, alas ! is far from having been a happy one. 
Society is astray in evil courses. There are people who think that 
peace prevails at Rome, and that matters are not so bad there as is 
said. Some strangers, on arriving in the city, even ask for cards of 
admission to religious ceremonies. I am persuaded that this year 
also the same request will be made as regards the celebrations of 
holy week. So long as the present state of things continues, alas ! 
there can be no such celebrations. The Church is in mourning. 
Rome has lost its character of capital of the Christian world — so 
many horrible deeds are done, so many blasphemies uttered. Let 
us beseech the Lord to put an end to such a painful state of 
things." [368] 

Victor Emmanuel, notwithstanding his extraordinary 
proceedings, appears to have thought that there might be a 
reconciliation with the Pope. The Emperor of Brazil, a man of 
science and a celebrated traveller, then at Rome, accepted the 
office of mediator. One morning, in the year 1872, the Brazilian 
monarch repaired to the Vatican. The hour of his visit was 
inopportune, as its object also proved to be. It was seven o'clock 
in the morning. The Holy Father had not yet finished his Mass 
when the Emperor was announced. As soon as was possible 
his Holiness proceeded to receive him. Whether fearing some 
design, or from dislike only to meet a prince who came from 
the hostile usurper's court, Pius IX., with an unusual coldness 
of manner, addressed the Emperor: "What does your Majesty 

368 Pius IX. And His Time 

desire?" "I beg your Holiness will not call me Majesty. Here, I 
am only the Count of Alcantara." The Holy Father then, without 
showing the least emotion, said to him: "My dear Count, what 
do you desire?" "I am come, your Holiness, in order to ask that 
you will allow me to introduce to you the King of Italy." At these 
words the Pontiff rose from his seat, and, looking indignantly 
at the Emperor, said to him with much firmness: "It is quite 
useless to hold such language. Let the King of Piedmont abjure 
his misdeeds and restore to me my States. I will then consent to 
receive him. But not till then." 


A creation of cardinals was necessary. There were twenty- 
nine vacant hats. Towards the close of 1873 Pius IX. resolved 
on twelve new creations. One of these became the occasion 
of protesting anew against the Italian government. The Society 
of Jesuits had always been a special object of its hatred. They 
were the first whom it expelled from Rome, as has been the 
case in more than one persecution. And now they were robbed, 
[369] notwithstanding the hopes that the European ambassadors were 

led to entertain of the Roman College which was their property. 
The Holy Father met this new brigandage by raising a member 
of the society to the dignity of cardinal. Tarquini, professor of 
canon law at the Sapienza (Roman College), was the favored 
member. Thus did the despoiled Pontiff condemn the ignorance 
and rebuke the robbery of the new rulers of Rome. "I am aware," 
said Pius IX. on this occasion, "that the Jesuits do not willingly 
accept ecclesiastical dignities. I had not, therefore, thought, until 
now, of conferring the purple on any of their members. But the 
unjust acts from which your society is suffering at this moment 
have determined me. It appeared to me to be necessary that 
I should make known in this way what I think of the ignorant 
calumnies of which you are the victims, and at the same time give 

Pius IX. And His Time. 369 

proof to yourself and your brethren of my esteem and friendship." 

If, ever since the violent seizure of Rome, it was customary to 
speak of the Pope as "the prisoner of the Vatican," his enemies, 
on the other hand, ceased not to insist that he was perfectly free, 
whilst he obstinately persisted in remaining within the walls of 
his palace. It has been noticed already that every approach to 
Rome and the Vatican was strictly guarded by the soldiers of the 
usurping king. A circumstance which occurred on the evening of 
the 20th June, 1874, further showed how close the imprisonment 
was. It was the twenty-eighth anniversary of the coronation of 
Pius IX. Te Deum was celebrated in the Vatican Basilica, and, 
what rarely happens, the spacious edifice was completely filled. 
More than one hundred thousand people, as nearly as could be 
estimated, or two-thirds of all the Romans who were able to 
leave their houses, were massed as well within the church as on 
the places St. Peter and Risticucci. When Te Deum was over, all 
eyes instinctively turned towards a window of the second story of 
the palace. It was the window of the Pope's apartment. Suddenly 
a white figure appeared at this window, and immediately a cry 
arose from below. It was the voice of the Roman citizens; a [370] 
voice so grand that it might be said to express the mind of a 
whole people, as they saluted their king, who was a prisoner. 
It continued for some time, and, although the window was at 
once closed, the prolonged acclamation of the faithful Romans 
rose louder and louder, until the Piedmontese troops came on the 
ground and swept away the crowd. The people departed without 
making any resistance. The police, nevertheless, arrested some 
twelve persons, of whom six were ladies of the best society 
of Rome. These ladies were at once set at liberty. But four 
young men of the number of those arrested were detained and 
afterwards condemned, one of them to two years, and the rest to 
several months' imprisonment, for having cried, "Long live the 
Pontiff- King." This crime they pretended not to deny. Could it be 
doubted any longer that the Pope was a prisoner? It was not only 

370 Pius IX. And His Time 

on moral grounds that he could not leave the Vatican. There were 
also bayonets and fire-arms between him and the nearest streets 
of Rome. It was only in the beginning of the year 1875 that 
Pius IX. could no longer refrain from visiting the Basilica of St. 
Peter. He had not been within it for four years and a half. Every 
necessary precaution was observed on occasion of his visit. The 
gates of the temple were kept shut, and none were present but 
members of the chapter and some other persons required for the 
service of the Church. The Holy Father entered by the stair 
which forms direct communication between his palace and the 
holy place. As may well be understood, he prayed for some time 
with his accustomed earnestness, that it would please God to put 
an end to the evils by which the Church was so sorely afflicted. 

Pius IX. was indefatigable in giving audiences and receiving 
deputations from every country where there were members of 
the Catholic Church. On such occasions he never failed to speak 
words of edification and encouragement. It was even said that he 
spoke too much. They were not, however, of the number of his 
friends who call him il Papa verboso. He was endowed with a 
[371] wonderful gift of speech, and he always used it effectively. His 

discourses were invariably to the purpose, the subject of them 
being suggested by the most recent events, by the nationality of 
his visitors, or by the expressed pious intentions which brought 
them to his presence. He made allusion very often to the Gospel of 
the preceding Sunday, or to the festival of the day, and concluded 
by imparting his benediction, which his hearers always received 
kneeling, and seldom without tears. The addresses of Pius IX. 
delivered at the Vatican have been preserved by the stenographic 
art, and fill many volumes. His ideas sometimes found expression 
in conversations with distinguished visitors. Such was the case 
on occasion of the visit, in 1872, of the Prince of Wales, the heir 
apparent of the British Crown. His Royal Highness showed his 
good taste by declining the use of Victor Emmanuel's equipages 
in coming to the Vatican. The Princess also made manifest her 

Pius IX. And His Time. 37 1 

respect for the well-known sentiments of Pius IX. in regard to 
showy toilettes by appearing in a plain dress. There was a striking 
contrast between the placid old man, so near the close of his 
career, and the handsome young couple, in the flower of their 
age. The Prince and the Pope appeared delighted at meeting; 
and the eyes of the Princess, who looked alternately at the 
animated figure of her husband and the benevolent countenance 
of the venerable Pontiff, were suffused with tears. The Pope 
began the conversation by expressing his great admiration for 
the character, both public and private, of the Queen of Great 
Britain; and smiling expressively, and not without a slight degree 
of Italian irony, he thanked the British ministers who, more than 
once, had offered him, in the name of the Queen, an asylum on 
British territory. "You see, Prince, I have not left Rome quite as 
soon as some of your statesmen supposed I would." The Holy 
Father then alluded to the existing state of things, adding: "In 
my present condition I am assuredly more happy than those who 
consider themselves more the masters of Rome than myself. I 
have no fear for my dynasty. It is powerfully protected. God 
Himself is its guardian. He also looks to my succession and [372] 
my family. You are not unaware that these are no other than 
the Church. I can speak without offence to the Prince of Wales 
of the instability of Royal Houses, that which he represents 
being firmly anchored in the affections of a wise people." "I 
am delighted," replied the Prince, smiling expressively, "to find 
that your Holiness has so good an opinion of our people." "Yes, 
indeed, I respect the English people," continued the Holy Father, 
"because they are more truly religious, both as regards feeling 
and conduct, than many who call themselves Catholics. When, 
one day, they shall return to the fold, with what joy will we not 
welcome that flock which is astray, but not lost!" The Prince 
and Princess, being rather incredulous, received this benevolent 
aspiration with a good-natured smile. "Oh! my children," 
resumed the Pontiff, "the future has in store for mankind the 

372 Pius IX. And His Time 

most strange surprises. Who could have imagined, two years 
ago, that we should see a Prussian army in France? I hesitate not 
to say that your ablest statesmen expected sooner to see the Pope 
at Malta than Napoleon III. in England. As regards myself, you 
will observe I am, indeed, robbed of my States, but God, who, at 
any moment, withdraws the possessions of this world, can also 
restore them a hundred-fold. Is the dynasty of the Head of the 
Church, on this account, less secure? I may, for a time, be driven 
from Rome. But when your children and grandchildren shall 
come to visit the holy city, they will see, as you see to-day — let 
the temporal power be more or less considerable — an old man, 
clothed in white, pointing the way to heaven for the good of 
hundreds of millions of human consciences. To compensate for 
the absence of subjects immediately around him, he will have 
devoted adherents at all times and everywhere." The conversation 
turning on Ireland, the Holy Father spoke in the warmest terms 
of the fidelity of the Catholics of that country. "You know, 
Prince, the results of persecution. It does not make us any more 
Catholics. Your Royal Mother follows a policy quite different 
from that of her predecessors, in regard to Ireland, and you are, 
[373] like her, aware that good Catholics are always good subjects." 

That country, the Pope continued to observe, had need of the 
vigilant and energetic superintendence of its devoted prelates, 
whom he praised in the highest terms. "For," said he, "the 
wolf — I do not mean Protestantism — but the wolf of anarchy and 
infidelity is abroad, I fear, in the regions of the West." He referred 
to the organization called "the International," and expressed his 
astonishment that "any princes should be still so blind as to take 
pleasure in making war on the Church, at a period when the 
foundations of civil society were threatened on every side." 

The chief cause of the Holy Father's grief and poignant sorrow, 
under his calamities, was the loss of souls. "Ah!" said he, in 
a conversation with Mgr. Langenieux, Archbishop of Rheims, 
"I could bear my misfortunes courageously, and God would 

Pius IX. And His Time. 373 

give me strength to withstand the evils which afflict the Church. 
But there is one thing I cannot forgive those who persecute us. 
They eradicate the faith of my people — they kill the souls of the 
children of unfortunate Italy." The Pontiff, as he uttered these 
words, moved his hand towards his breast, and as his fingers 
ruffled his white robe, he exclaimed, in a tone that was truly 
heartrending: "They tear away my heart!" 

"It was sublime," adds the archbishop, "the great soul of the 
Pope subdued us, and, at the same time, inspired us with light 
and fortitude." 


The party in Europe who desired the suppression of the Pope's 
temporal rule professed to be actuated by zeal for promoting a 
more free and useful exercise of his spiritual authority. It soon 
became manifest that this was the merest sham. Switzerland, 
guided by that narrow kind of Protestantism which has so often 
asserted its power, pretended to see only in the Pope the Chief 
of the small Roman State; when deprived of that State, he [374] 
was no longer a prince or dignitary, with whom diplomatic 
relations could be held. His legate at Berne, accordingly, was 
informed that he must take his departure from the territory of the 
Swiss Confederation. It is well understood that this ungracious 
measure was secretly advised and promoted by Germany. That 
Power speedily followed the example, although not at first in 
a very direct or open way. The German ministry appointed 
to the Embassy of the Vatican Cardinal Hohenlohe, the only 
one of the cardinals who proved unfaithful to Pius IX. in the 
hour of his great distress. The Pope remonstrated against the 
appointment. The inflexible Prussian minister, Bismarck, replied 
that he would send no other, suspended and finally abolished 
diplomatic relations between the new Empire and the Holy See. 
It is by no means matter for surprise that a man of Prince 
Bismarck's views and character should have so acted, or even 

374 Pius IX. And His Time 

that he should have become the promoter of the greatest and 
most unwarrantable persecution by which any nation has been 
disgraced, or to which any portion of the Church has been 
subjected in modern times. This minister, who may be truly 
described as the political scourge of Germany, is as fanatical in 
religion as he is coarse and sceptical in politics. He abandoned 
his party, and became, or feigned to become, a liberal in order 
to gratify his hatred of the Catholic Church. He belongs to 
that branch of Protestantism which is called "orthodox" (lucus 
a non lucendo). On occasion of the debate, 14th April, 1874, 
on the law which withdrew the salaries of the Catholic clergy, 
a Protestant conservative member of the representative body, 
Count de Malrahn, declared that he would vote for this law, 
because it would affect only the Catholics, without interfering 
with the rights of the Evangelical denomination. Bismarck, by 
his reply, not only showed an utter absence of all political faith, 
but at the same time a degree of political hypocrisy with which all 
true history will never cease to stigmatize him. "I must express 
the great joy which I experience on hearing the declaration of 
[375] the preceding speaker. If, at the commencement of the religious 

conflict, the conservatives had taken this ground, and sustained 
the government in the name of the Evangelical religion, I never 
would have been under the necessity of separating from the 
Conservative party." 

From Chancellor Bismarck's own words, therefore, it may be 
concluded that it was excessive sectarian fanaticism which made 
him an infidel and hypocrite in politics, a traitor to his party, 
and a savage persecutor of the Church. When there was question 
in December, 1874, of obtaining an act for the suppression of 
the Prussian legation to the Holy See, the deep-rooted hatred of 
Prince Bismarck and his absolute want of conscience became 
still more apparent. He audaciously accused the Court of Rome 
of having been the ally of France, and even of the revolution 
in the war against Prussia in 1870. He pretended that if the 

Pius IX. And His Time. 375 

(Ecumenical Council was closed abruptly, it was in order to 
leave complete liberty of action to Napoleon III.; and, as facts 
were necessary in order to support this extraordinary and false 
assertion, he ascribed to Monsignor Meglia, at the time nuncio 
at Munich, the words, "Our only hope is in the revolution." As 
the chancellor uttered this odious calumny, he suddenly took 
ill. He became pale, stammered, and had recourse, four or 
five times, to a glass of water, which was beside him, in order 
to recover his spirits and find the words which he should use. 
The whole parliament was struck with this incident. The Abbe 
Majunke, editor of the Catholic journal Germania, was, however, 
the only one who spoke of it publicly. Such an offence against 
the omnipotent chancellor could not, of course, be overlooked. 
M. Majunke was summoned to the police office, and thence 
consigned to prison, notwithstanding his inviolability as deputy, 
and the protestations of the Reichstag (parliament). What a grand 
conception Chancellor Bismarck must have had of constitutional 

The great success of William I. in the Franco-Prussian war 
appears to have so elated that monarch that he considered there [376] 
was nothing which he might not successfully undertake. He 
had annexed to Prussia some of the lesser States of Germany, 
and made a German Empire. The Church in Germany enjoyed 
many privileges and immunities under his predecessors, who, 
for the most part, were, like himself, Protestants. Whether it 
was that he desired to show himself a better Protestant than 
his ancestors, or that he could not emancipate himself from the 
control of the minister who had so long guided, with singular 
success, the destinies of the empire, as well as his own career, 
or that he believed it to be a political necessity to act according 
to the views and carry out the principles of the German and 
European "Liberals" — the party of revolution and unbelief — he 
resolved to oppose no impediment to his chancellor and the 
liberal majority of parliament in their endeavors to destroy the 

376 Pius IX. And His Time 

Catholic Church in Germany, unless it chose to become as a 
mere department of the State, acting and speaking in the name 
of the State, receiving its appointments from the State, as well as 
the funds requisite for the support of its ministers, accepting all 
its orders and instructions, even in the most spiritual things, from 
the State; in fine, looking to the State as the sole source of all its 
authority, honor, power and influence. There was nothing like 
the German Empire. It had conquered in gigantic wars with two 
Powers that were considered the greatest in continental Europe. 
It had attained a degree of power and greatness, scarcely if at 
all inferior to that of the first Napoleon, and, like Napoleon, 
it aimed at more. It sought, like him, to have the Church, no 
less than the police courts, in every respect, in all circumstances 
and on all occasions, completely at its orders. This ill-judged 
ambition accounts for the long list of oppressive laws which were 
enacted at Berlin for the enslavement of the Catholic Church. 
They are known as the "May Laws," all of them having been 
passed, although not in the same year, in the month of May. 
Dollinger, Hohenlohe and the rest of the anti-Catholic Bavarian 
coterie, deluded the Emperor and his minister with the idea of an 
[377] independent German alt, or Old Catholic Church. They sold their 

country to the new empire, politically. But they could not sell its 
church. One of these alt-Catholics, Dr. Schulte, recommended 
persecution as the surest means of eradicating the ancient church. 
"Let his twenty thousand florins be withdrawn from such a one, 
his twelve thousand thalers from such another; let the salaries 
of the bishops and chapters be suppressed, and the result will 
soon be manifest. The humbler clergy will rejoice. Since 18th 
July, 1870, there has been neither belief in Christ nor religious 
conviction among the bearers of mitres and tonsures." Thus was 
the Prussian minister led to imagine that he had only to transfer 
the benefices of the Catholic dignitaries to the alt-Catholics in 
order to constitute an independent German Church, which would 
unite the whole of Germany religiously, as he had already united 

Pius IX. And His Time. 377 

it politically. All Catholics, of course, would be members of this 
new Church. The State Protestantism of Prussia would, in due 
time, join this State Church, and there would be, if not one Faith 
and one Baptism, one Church and one State. 

The calculations of Chancellor Bismarck were, however, 
at fault. He soon discovered that the clergy were grossly 
calumniated, and that the alt-Catholic Church in which he trusted 
never counted more than thirty priests; that this number increased 
not, and that the hundreds of thousands of adherents of whom 
the pseudo bishop, Reinkens, boasted, were only some twenty 
thousand to thirty thousand, scattered over all Germany. These 
had no principle of cohesion. They could not agree as to any 
fundamental point of religious doctrine or discipline. According 
to a census made in 1876, they numbered only one hundred and 
thirty-six, in a population of twenty-five thousand Catholics, at 
the city of Bonn, which M. Reinkens had selected as the seat 
and centre of his episcopal ministrations. Meanwhile, there was 
a considerable reaction in prevaricating Bavaria. The Catholic 
minority was changed into a majority, and the Prussian Catholic 
representation, which was called the fraction of the centre, was 
strengthened at the elections of 1 874 by an increase from twenty- [378] 
five to forty votes. The chancellor, although enlightened, was not 
corrected. Nothing could divert him from his evil purpose. By 
a strange confusion of ideas, he called Kulturcampf (struggle for 
civilization) the open war which he waged against the Church, 
the source of all civilization and of liberty of conscience. The 
persecuting laws which, with the aid of the so-called "liberal" 
party, or party of unbelief, he succeeded in causing to be enacted 
were to the following effect. As was to be expected of the 
blind political fanaticism of the party, the Jesuits were the first 
objects of hostility, and the first victims of persecution. The 
May laws required that these unoffending individuals should be 
expelled without any form of trial, and deprived of their rights of 
citizens. At the same time, certain religious orders which, it was 

378 Pius IX. And His Time 

pretended, were affiliated with the Jesuits, were subjected to the 
like treatment. 

All ecclesiastical seminaries were suppressed, the solons 
of legislation pretending that it was necessary to oblige the 
candidates for the priesthood to imbue their minds in lay schools, 
with the ideas and wants of modern society. 

The new laws abolished articles fifteen, sixteen and eighteen 
of the Prussian Constitution, which guaranteed the autonomy 
of the different forms of worship; they bestowed on the State 
the nomination to ecclesiastical functions, and went so far as to 
forbid bishops the use of their right to declare apostates excluded 
from the Catholic communion. 

They suppressed the subsidies and allowances which the 
State, until that time, paid to the diocesan establishments and the 
clergy generally, notwithstanding that such subsidies were not 
gratuitously bestowed by the government, but were nothing else 
than, as in France and Belgium, the restitution, in part, of the 
debt due by the State to the Church. It was provided, however, 
that such members of the clergy as should make their submission 
should at once have their salaries restored. By a refinement 
of cruelty, all collections and subscriptions, whether public or 
[379] private, for the requirements of public worship and the support 

of the clergy were forbidden, and elective lay commissions 
were charged with the management of all ecclesiastical property. 
Finally, all religious orders, as well of men as of women, were 
suppressed, with the exception, and that provisionally only, of 
such as were devoted to the care of the sick. 

If Chancellor Bismarck really believed, at any time, that the 
Catholic clergy were without faith and conscience, ready to 
submit to any terms the State might impose, in order to save their 
incomes and the institutions of the Church, he must have been 
greatly surprised when he found them all, without exception, 
prepared to welcome poverty, imprisonment and exile, rather 
than abandon the inalienable rights of conscience. On the 26th 

Pius IX. And His Time. 379 

May, 1873, the Bishops of Prussia signed a collective declaration, 
in which they stated, with regret, that it was impossible for them to 
obey. "The Church," said they, "cannot acknowledge the heathen 
state principle, according to which the laws of the State are the 
source of all right, and the Church possesses only such rights as 
it pleases the State to grant. By so doing, it would deny its own 
Divine origin, and would make Christianity wholly dependent 
on the arbitrary will of men." In regard to temporal matters 
connected with the Church they could afford to be less strict: and 
so they authorized their people to take part in the election of the 
new lay managers of the properties of the churches. This wise 
policy was attended with the most happy results. The chancellor's 
plans were everywhere completely marred. He had reckoned that 
the Catholics would abstain from voting, and so allow a "liberal" 
(infidel) minority, however small, to dispose of the churches and 

In reviewing the news of the day, we have been accustomed to 
think of only one or two more eminent prelates suffering under the 
lash of persecution. The truth is, that the whole Church suffered. 
The persecution was as cruel as an age which does not permit 
the shedding of blood would tolerate. The bishops were crushed 
with fines on account of each act which they performed of their [380] 
spiritual office. Such fines they refused to pay, lest they should 
acknowledge the justice of their condemnation. Their movable 
property, accordingly, was seized and sold at auction, and they 
themselves were immured in the prisons, where they were mixed 
up with felons condemned to the same labors, and designated, 
like them, by numbers. It was all in vain. Nothing could shake 
their constancy. At Berlin was erected a sort of ecclesiastical 
tribunal, which arrogated to itself the power of deposing from 
sees, and which actually pretended to depose the Archbishop of 
Posen, the Bishop of Paderborn, the Prince-Bishop of Breslau, 
and several other prelates. The fortresses of Germany were filled 
with priests, whose only crime was that they obeyed God rather 

380 Pius IX. And His Time 

than men. The public ways were crowded with priests who 
had been deprived, afterwards interned, and finally banished. 
Numerous religious people, both men and women, were in the 
like sad position, thronging the road of exile. The people, in 
tears, escorted these victims of heathenish rage. They chanted, 
as they went, the psalm, "Miserere," and the canticle, "Wir sind 
ini waren Christenthum" ("we are in true Christianity"), until 
they reached the railway depots. The Prussian gensd'armes, who 
were often no more than two or three in number, were astonished 
to find that they could so easily conduct their prisoners, whom 
thousands and tens of thousands of other men, the greater number 
of whom were veteran soldiers, accompanied, as they passed, 
expressing their regrets and good wishes. 

Persecution is impolitic no less than it is cruel and immoral. 
The German people, to say the least, were shocked by the 
tyranny of their government. Nothing could prevent them 
from showing what they felt and thought, on occasion of the 
release of the prisoners at the end of their two years' term of 
imprisonment. They took every possible means of expressing 
their satisfaction. Thus, at Munster, when Bishop Warendorf 
returned, the inhabitants paid no attention to the prohibition of the 
[381] burgomaster, who, by order of the government, intimated that he 

would repress, by force, every external and public demonstration. 
The whole city rushed to the gate, St. Mauritius, by which the 
released prisoner was to enter. Count Droste-Erhdroste proceeded 
to receive him in a magnificent carriage, drawn by four horses, 
which was followed by four more carriages in charge of his 
servants, who were in complete gala dress. An immense crowd 
strewed flowers along the route as the bishop advanced, and 
ceased not to hail him with joyous acclamations until he reached 
his residence, where the first families of the country were in 
attendance to receive him. In the evening, the whole town, 
with the exception of the public buildings, was illuminated. 
The citizens of Posen were preparing a like triumphal reception 

Pius IX. And His Time. 3 8 1 

for their archbishop, Cardinal Ledochowski, on occasion of his 
release in February, 1876, from the fortress of Ostrowo, where 
he had been incarcerated for two years, when he was carried off 
in the nighttime and transported beyond the limits of his diocese, 
in which he is forbidden ever again to set foot. Two suffragan 
bishops were left behind. They also were imprisoned at Gnesten, 
one for having administered the Sacrament of Confirmation 
without special leave from the government, the other for having 
consecrated the holy oils on Maunday Thursday, 1875. By such 
acts, which evidently belonged to the spiritual order, they were 
held to be guilty of sedition and a violation of the rights of the 

The whole Catholic world was deeply moved by this modern 
and unprovoked persecution. All could not speak, indeed; but 
all were in sympathy with the clergy and faithful people of 
Germany. The bishops of France would have brought war upon 
their country by uttering a word of disapproval. The irascible 
chancellor actually sought to raise a quarrel with that country 
on account of a slight and inoffensive allusion which fell from 
the lips of two of the bishops. Could he not see that he will be 
branded throughout the ages as a persecutor and a short-sighted 
politician? Great Britain and America could speak without fear 
or hindrance. And they were not slow to send their words [382] 
of consolation and encouragement to their suffering brethren of 
Germany. The Cardinal-Archbishop of Westminster wrote in a 
strain which may be described as apostolical, to the Archbishop 
of Cologne, the Primate of Germany, greeting "with the greatest 
affection both himself and his brethren, the other bishops who 
are in prison for having defended the authority and liberty of 
the Church." This letter was reproduced by all the newspapers, 
and could not have escaped the notice of the Prussian minister. 
Nevertheless, he was silent. Although sensitive in the extreme, 
as regarded France and Belgium, his knowledge of geography 
and naval statistics, no doubt, enabled him to possess his soul in 

382 Pius IX. And His Time 


Pius IX. could not but feel for his afflicted children of 
Germany. He was moved, accordingly, to address a very 
earnest remonstrance to the Emperor, William I. This was done 
so early as August, 1873. He could not believe that such cruel 
measures proceeded from a prince who had so often given proof 
of his Christian sentiments. He had even been informed that his 
Majesty did not approve of the conduct of his government, and 
condemned the laws which were enacted against the Catholic 
religion. "But, if it be true that your Majesty does not approve 
of these measures (and the letters which you formerly addressed 
to me appear to me to prove sufficiently that you do not think 
well of what is actually taking place), — if, I say, it is not with 
your sanction that your government continues to extend more 
and more those repressive measures against the Christian religion 
which so grievously injure that religion, must you not come to 
the conclusion that such measures can have no other effect than 
to undermine your throne?" He may possibly have thought so, 
when, a little later, his life was attempted by parties who are 
known to seek the destruction of religion and civil government at 
the same time. Be this as it may, his reply to Pius IX. was not in 
his usual kindly style. It was scarcely polite, and appeared to be 
the work of the savage chancellor rather than of the good-natured 
[383] monarch. 

The appeal of Pius IX. produced no result. The Emperor's 
government added to the harshness of his refusal by advising 
him to address a letter of congratulation to the new bishop of 
the alt-Catholics. This was done, as was expressed, "on account 
of his complete deference to the State and his acknowledgment 
of its rights." In another letter, which was also made public, 
William I. recalled to mind those ancient Emperors of Germany 
who were the irreconcilable enemies of the spiritual supremacy 
of the Popes, and intimated that he was resuming the work 
of Frederick Barbarossa and Henry IV. The association was 

Pius IX. And His Time. 383 

unfortunate. The chancellor's commentary was more so. "We 
shall never," he boasted, "go to Canossa!" These words, spoken 
before the assembled parliament, were a defiance of Divine 
Providence. Was it forgotten that there were other snows than 
those of Canossa, in which Emperors could perish? The first 
Napoleon pursued, in regard to the Church, the same policy that 
Germany was now pursuing. He defied the religious power, and 
contemptuously asked whether the arms could be made to fall 
from the hands of his soldiers\ They did so fall, nevertheless, 
when the demented Emperor led his legions into the snows of 

Pius IX. could not behold without concern the deep distress of 
his brethren in Germany. He addressed an Encyclical letter, under 
date of 5th February, 1875, to the Bishops of Prussia, lamenting 
the persecution which tried them so severely, dwelling at great 
length on the evils of the May laws, praising the constancy 
of the clergy, and exhorting them to continued patience and 
perseverance. The whole doctrine of the Encyclical may be said 
to be expressed in the following words: 

"Let those who are your enemies know that you do no injury 
to the royal authority, and that you have no prejudice against it 
when you refuse to give to Csesar what belongs to God; for it is 
written, ' We must obey God rather than men. ' " 

This eloquent letter, like everything else that was done in 
order to mitigate the most trying persecution of modern times, [384] 
remained without any other result than to afford some comfort to 
the clergy of the afflicted Church of Germany. 

Pius IX., in order to show still further his appreciation of the 
constancy under persecution of the German clergy, conferred 
the dignity of Cardinal on Archbishop Ledochowski, who 
courageously accepted the proffered honor. The persecuting 
government prevented him from ever enjoying it in his diocese, 
by condemning him to perpetual banishment. This was, at least, 
an approach to the cruelty practised on Fisher, the illustrious 

384 Pius IX. And His Time 

English Confessor, who was consigned to the Tower of London 
because he would not sanction the divorce of Henry VIII., and 
acknowledge the Royal Supremacy in questions of religion. The 
Pope of the time sent him a cardinal's hat. But the enraged king 
took care that he should never wear it by cutting off his head. 
The time was past when blood could be shed in hatred of the 
truth, even by so hard a tyrant as the Prussian minister. In the 
nineteenth century, however, as well as in the sixteenth, there 
would not be wanting those who would resist unto blood for 
religion's sake. 

It was comparatively an easy matter to deprive and banish 
the legitimate pastors, but not quite so easy to find priests 
so unprincipled as to become their successors. The politic 
chancellor, apparently, had not thought of this beforehand. In 
the course of five years he could find only two ecclesiastics who 
would consent to accept benefices at his hands. All those on 
whom he might have counted for establishing a schism in the 
Church had already joined, with all the encouragement which the 
minister could bestow, the alt-Catholic sect, which, as has been 
shown, was destined to prove a failure. It is almost superfluous to 
say that the parishioners studiously avoided all communication 
in things spiritual with the nominees of the State. Meanwhile, 
the faithful people were not left destitute. Zealous young priests 
from the seminaries visited them privately at their houses, and 
ministered to their religious wants. Such as so acted were arrested 
and conducted to the frontier. They returned by the next railway 
[385] train. They were then cast into prison. As soon as they were 

free they returned to the post of duty. There was in Germany 
a revival of the Primitive Church — of the zeal and self-sacrifice 
of the apostolic age. All this was met by the closing of the 
seminaries, the severest blow that had, as yet, been struck against 
the cause of religion. The chancellor, nevertheless, was not 
successful. The newspapers in his interest, which he designated 
as the reptile press, laughed at his short-sightedness. He had 

Pius IX. And His Time. 385 

counted on accomplishing his purpose by some six months of 
persecution. Generations would not suffice. The endurance of 
the Church is unconquerable. It is as an anvil which wears out 
many hammers. That which Chancellor Bismarck applied, so 
vigorously, will prove to be no exception. 11 Southern Germany, 
it is a pleasure to record, abhors the ridiculous Kulturkampf of 
Chancellor Bismarck. Louis II., of Bavaria, would fain follow in 
his wake. But, as is shown by the large Catholic majorities at the 
elections, he is not seconded, even passively, as in Prussia, by 
the Bavarian people. The persecution, attended by its essential 
results, is rendering all Germany more Catholic than ever. When 
its work shall have been accomplished, what will remain? The 
Church or the Kulturkampf? 

In the meantime many innocent persons must suffer: many 
time-honored institutions will have been swept away: in the 
pursuit of an ideal civilization, and by means of cruelties 
unworthy of an enlightened age, many monuments which owed 
their origin to the superior civilizing power of Christianity will 
have disappeared forever. In addition to all this, feelings hostile 
to the Church, and prejudices hurtful as they are groundless, are 
everywhere created. Pius IX. complained of this unfortunate state 
of things, when he said (10th January, 1875): "The revolution, 
not satisfied with persecuting Catholics in Prussia, excites, on [386] 
both sides of the Alps, those governments which profess to 
be Catholic, but which have only too plainly led the way, in 
the shameful career of religious oppression. It excites them to 
persist, more boldly than ever, in the work of persecution, and 
these governments execute its behests. God will arise, some day, 

11 There appeared at Munich, in 1874, an ingenious caricature. It represented 
the Prussian chancellor, endeavoring, with a Krupp gun, which he used as 
a lever, to overthrow a church emblem of Catholicism. Satan comes on the 
scene, and says: "What are you doing, my friend?" Bismarck, "This church 
embarrasses me; I want to upset it." Satan, "It embarrasses me, too. I have 
been laboring 1800 years to demolish it. If your Excellency succeeds, I pledge 
myself to resign my office in your favor." 

386 Pius IX. And His Time 

and, addressing the Protestant oppressor, he will say to him: Thou 
hast sinned — grievously sinned; but the Catholic governments, 
on all hands, have still more grievously sinned. Majus peccatum 


At the time of the Piedmontese invasion, there were in the city 
of Rome, one hundred and sixty-eight colleges or public schools. 

The number of schools was twenty thousand, whilst the whole 
population of the city was two hundred and twenty thousand. 
The pupils are classed as follows, according to the statistics of 
his Eminence the Cardinal- Vicar, in 1870: 

Students, boarding in seminaries and colleges: 703 
Students, day scholars, gratuitously taught in the schools: 5,555 
Students, day scholars, who paid a small fee: 1,603 
Total: 7,941 

Girls, boarding in refuges: 2,986 
Girls, day scholars, gratuitously taught: 6,523 
Girls, day scholars, who paid a small fee: 2,871 
Total: 11,380 

General total: 19,321 

Thus, including the orphans of both sexes, at St. Michael de 
Termini and other asylums, pupils are in the proportion of one to 
ten inhabitants. This is not inferior to Paris, and surpasses Berlin, 
[387] so much spoken of as a seat of education. This Prussian (now 

German capital) reckoned, in 1875, only eighty-five thousand 
scholars for a population of nine hundred and seventy-four 
thousand souls, or ten scholars to one hundred and fourteen 
citizens. The Godless schools, established by the new rulers, 
have impeded, only to a certain extent, the development given to 
education by the Government of Pius IX. In the poorer quarters of 
the city some parties have been either intimidated by the threats 
of the Department of Charity, or gained by the offer of bounties 
to themselves and a gratuitous breakfast to their children. But, 
generally, the people of Rome still resist, and several Christian 

Pius IX. And His Time. 387 

schools have considerably increased since 1870, the number of 
their pupils. This is all the more remarkable, as the ruling faction 
showed a strong determination to put an end entirely to Christian 
education. By the end of 1873, the usurping government had 
confiscated more than one hundred monasteries, convents, and 
other establishments of public education. A Lyceum was set 
up in place of the celebrated Roman College, from which its 
proprietors, the Rev. Fathers of the Society of Jesuits, were 
finally expelled in 1874. The better to show their animus on 
the occasion, the new Rulers tore down a magnificent piece of 
sculpture, in marble, which adorned the gate, and on which was 
engraved the blessed name of the Saviour, replacing it by the 
escutcheon in wood of Victor Emmanuel. 

As if to give zest to robbery, the Godless tyrants proposed 
that the professors of the Roman College should continue their 
lessons, as functionaries of the Italian government, and after 
having qualified by accepting diplomas from a lay university. It 
would, indeed, have been comical to see such men as Secchi, 
Franzelin, Tarquini, and many, besides, the first professors in the 
world, seated on scholars' benches, to be examined by the semi- 
barbarous officials, whether civil or military, of the Piedmontese 
King. Pius IX., although pressed by many wants, provided an 
asylum for science. He called together the Jesuit Fathers who 
had been dispersed, in the halls of the American and German 
Colleges. There, although somewhat pinched for room, they [388] 
continued their international courses, the most extensive that 
ever were known. 

The new Rulers, however, it is only proper to observe, never 
dared to drive Father Secchi from his observatory. 

There ought never to have been any difficulty in Italy as 
regards education. The Italians were, and are still, of one mind, 
and not divided, like us, into numerous denominations, all of 
which have to be considered without prejudice to their religious 
views. The usurping Italian government allotted one million of 

388 Pius IX. And His Time 

francs (£40,000) per annum, for elementary education at Rome. 
Not one half of the children for whom this bounty is intended, 
avail themselves of it — a fact which shows that the popular 
want has not been met. The outlay only burdens the ratepayers 
without advancing the end for which it is designed — elementary 
education. Private persons supply the need according to the 
popular desire, by means of regionary schools, supported entirely 
at their own expense, and with a laudable degree of self-sacrifice. 
The same state of things prevails, generally, throughout Italy, 
as is shown by a circular of the minister of public instruction. 
The new government aims at nothing less than the subversion 
of religious principle. This the Italians resist, and will continue 
to resist. The government schools for secular and irreligious 
education, among the upper classes, are like those for elementary 
teaching, very thinly attended, parents preferring to send their 
children abroad, and, when this cannot be afforded, to such 
ecclesiastical colleges and seminaries as are still in existence. 
The State schools have already a monopoly in the conferring of 
degrees and the consequent civil advantages. It is proposed to go 
still further, and, actually, to close by force, all the higher schools 
in which religion is recognized, even as the school established 
by the Pope in the city of Rome, was recently put down. It is 
thus that these emancipators of mankind understand liberty ! 

As regards female education, especially, the people will 
[389] never, willingly, give up the schools that are conducted by 

"Sisters" or "Nuns." The education which such schools afford is 
universally appreciated — among ourselves who are divided, but 
more particularly among the Italians, who are all Catholics. It is 
in vain to kick against the goad, and this the Italian government 
will learn, some day, when it is cast forth as a rotten institution 
by the people, whose dearest wishes it ignores. It is of no use 
to suppose that Italy is advanced to a state of irreligion, and so 
requires a system of Godless education. The contrary is well 
known. State systems, based, not on statistical facts, but, on idle 

Pius IX. And His Time. 389 

suppositions, must needs come to nought. 


"A free Church in a free State" — the great idea of such Italian 
liberals as had any conception of a church at all, was surely 
to be realized when the fellow-countrymen of Count de Cavour 
came to rule at Rome. What was the case? There was neither a 
free church nor a free State? That State is not free, wherein the 
people are not fairly represented. The new Italian State could 
not claim any such representation. It was held in such contempt 
that the great majority of the Italian people, unwisely, indeed, 
we who are accustomed to constitutional government would say, 
declined to take part in the elections. Thus the entire control 
of the country was left in the hands of two comparatively small 
factions — the moderate and the extreme radicals. It is of little 
importance to the mass of the Italian people which of these 
factions holds sway for the moment. They both legislate and 
execute the laws in opposition to the will of the nation, and in 
the sense and for the benefit of the prevailing faction. They are 
both alike characterized by hatred of the Christian faith and all 
religious institutions. This feeling impels them to war against 
everything connected with Christianity, and to substitute what 
the Germans of the same school call Kulturkampf, or, a struggle 
for culture, on principles the very opposite of those on which is 
founded the high civilization of the nineteenth century. No doubt 
these apostles of Kulturkampf have a much higher civilization [390] 
in store for mankind. But it must be admitted that they follow a 
strange way of bringing about the much-desired consummation. 
Robbery and sacrilege they believe, or profess to believe, will 
promote the great object of their ambition, and so they practice, to 
their heart's content, robbery and sacrilege. Have they forgotten 
that, according to their code, it is a Jesuitical teaching, that evil 
may be done in order to produce good. These legislators and 
administrators of laws claim to be superior to the effete errors 
of the age. Why then should they still cling to those of the 

390 Pius IX. And His Time 

despised Jesuits? Because, no doubt, it serves the purpose of 
the moment, and affords some relief to, if it does not satisfy, an 
insatiable passion. On approaching Rome they affected much 
reverence for the Holy Father and the institutions of religion. 
They could do nothing less, accordingly, than enact their now 
famous law of guarantees, which assured complete protection 
to the Pope and the institutions over which he presided. Let us 
enquire for a moment how this law was enforced. It surpassed, 
in generosity to the church, the legislation of the most chivalrous 
monarchs. It gave up the royal rights of former kings in regard to 
nominating and proposing to ecclesiastical offices. It dispensed 
with the oath of bishops to the king, and formally abolished 
(see articles fifteen and sixteen) the exequatur, as it is called, 
authorizing the publication and execution of all notable acts 
of ecclesiastical authority. Such clear and apparently solemn 
regulations appeared to be inviolable. Nevertheless, whilst one 
hundred and fifty bishops were named by Pius IX., from the 
commencement of the Piedmontese invasions till the month of 
August, 1875, no fewer than one hundred and thirty-seven of 
this number were not acknowledged by the civil power, because 
they did not apply for and obtain the exequatur. The ministry 
was not satisfied with this. It pushed its tyranny to such an 
extreme as to refuse in future, to grant the exequatur and to expel 
from their residences all bishops who should not possess it. Not 
only did the government withhold the incomes of the bishops, 
[391] and confiscate the revenues which the piety of the people had 

devoted for their support, it also employed its gensd'armes and 
police agents in seizing the prelates at their homes and casting 
them into the streets. The new rulers went further still, and 
displayed their financial genius in a way peculiar to themselves. 
They actually subjected to the tax on moveable property, the 
alms which the bishops received from the Sovereign Pontiff, 
who, like themselves, was robbed of his proper income. Thus did 
the beggarly government make money out of the small resources 

Pius IX. And His Time. 391 

of those who, when the exchequer failed to fulfil its duties, 
endeavored themselves, as best they could, to make up for this 

Military conscription is essentially tyrannical. It is particularly 
so when used as an arm of offence against the church. It was 
applied to ecclesiastical students, and even to such as were in 
holy orders, expressly for the purpose of depriving the church of 
recruits from the seminaries. None could now be found to renew 
the ranks of the clergy, except such as were invalids or of weak 
constitutions, or who, by miracle, persevered in their vocation, 
after four years' service in military barracks. 

The public robbers, notwithstanding their professions and 
guarantees, audaciously laid sacrilegious hands on the properties 
of the Basilicas of St. Peter and St. John Lateran, which they 
themselves had expressly reserved for the use of the Holy See. 
They hesitated not even to seize the funds of the celebrated 
missionary college — Propaganda. These properties they did not 
simply annex, as they did so many, besides, that belonged to 
the Church. They created a liquidating junta or commission, as 
they called it, which should change all immovable ecclesiastical 
properties that were not already confiscated into national rent. 
Such national rent, as is well known, had only an ephemeral 
value. It was, at best, variable; and Italy, which was partially 
bankrupt when it reduced the interest due to its creditors, will, 
sooner or later, according to the opinion of the ablest writers, land 
in complete bankruptcy. The rents substituted by force, instead [392] 
of real property, will then possess the value of the assignats of 
the first French revolution. 

The endowments of Propaganda, appointed by Christian 
generosity, at different epochs, were not designed for the use of 
Rome or Italy, or any Catholic country whatever. Their object 
was the support of remote missions. This was well understood. 
The very name of the institution shows that it was. In vain 
did Cardinal Franchi apply to the tribunals. The properties of 

392 Pius IX. And His Time 

the great universal institution, as well as those of the Chapters, 
were sold at public auction, and the confiscation, although not 
immediate, was in course of being accomplished. The state of 
things did not improve on the advent to power of Messrs. Nicotera 
and Depretis, the former a radical of the most extreme views, and 
the latter, very little, if at all, better. These revolutionists having 
gained the object of their ambition, might have been inclined to 
halt in their mad career; but, their party driving them onward, 
they proceeded to still more rigid and cruel measures. It is not 
too much to say that such men are digging a grave for the House 
of Savoy and Italian unity. 

The measures aiming at the destruction of religion may be 
summarized as follows: 

1st. They have introduced civil registration of births, as an 
equivalent and alternative to Christian baptism. 

2nd. They have permitted and encouraged civil interment 
instead of Christian burial. 

3rd. They have abolished oaths in courts of law. 

4th. They have systematically encouraged the profanation of 
the Sunday and the great festivals of Christmas, Easter, etc., by 
ordering the prosecution of the government buildings and other 
public works on Sundays; by ostentatiously holding their sessions 
on those days: by ordering public lectures in the universities and 
[393] higher schools on Sundays as on week days, etc. 

5th. They have established civil marriage as an equivalent 
before the law for Christian marriage, and as necessary, in all 
cases, besides the religious ceremony. 

6th. They have established a recognized system of public 
immorality by indemnities, and deriving from this shameful 
source a revenue which is applied to augment the secret service 

It is easily observed that in every detail of this enumeration, 
religion and morals are directly attacked. The Pope, who is the 
chief of religion and the great preacher of morality, cannot give 

Pius IX. And His Time. 393 

any countenance to such things. Far less can he identify himself 
with such anti-Christian legislation. This is the insuperable 
impediment to his reconciliation with the present Rulers of 
"United Italy." He can resist evil, and resist unto blood, as so 
many of his sainted predecessors have done. But when there is 
question of accepting it, his only word must be, as it has always 
been, non possumus. What would men say, if He, who is the 
Head of the Church, and the chief guardian of the truth confided 
to Her keeping, could be brought by the threats or caresses of 
ephemeral worldly Powers, to call good evil, and evil goodl 


Religion, when persecuted in any country, fails not to wreak 
vengeance on the persecuting power. In such countries, virtue, 
generally, respect for law, order and authority, as well as public 
security, rapidly diminish, and the State discovers, although too 
late, that, in aiming at the Church, it has struck against itself a 
deadly blow. 

Since the inauguration of the much vaunted Kulturkampf, 
socialism has increased to such a degree in Germany as to appal 
even Chancellor Bismarck, whilst Italy, at the same time that 
it closed its convents and Catholic colleges, was obliged to 
multiply not only its military barracks, but also its prisons. In 
no part of Italian territory have these preventives of crime, if, 
indeed, they may be so-called, proved sufficient. So rapid has [394] 
been the increase of crime, that, according to official statistics, 
in the Province of Rome alone, seven thousand two hundred 
and ninety-three cases were ascertained and brought before the 
tribunals, in 1874. This is just double what appeared in the 
criminal courts under the Pontifical government. In the whole 
kingdom there were eighty-four thousand prisoners, or criminals 
under restraint. This is thirty-five thousand more than in France, 
the general population of which is greater by one-third, and four 
times more than in Great Britain, the population of which is 
about the same as that of united Italy. This state of crime is not 

394 Pius IX. And His Time 

surprising when it is considered that the rulers themselves have 
never ceased to set the example of the most unscrupulous and 
merciless theft and robbery. The new civil code, besides, appears 
to have had no other object in view than to obliterate all idea of 
right, and to legitimatize all robberies, past, present and future, 
in the unfortunate kingdom of Italy. Article seven hundred and 
ten of this code declares, plainly, that property is acquired by 

At Rome, barristers, judges, and even the most revolutionary 
journalists are assassinated by private vengeance, in broad day, 
in the street, or in their offices, and no one dare molest the 
murderers. In Romagna it was found necessary to bring to justice 
an association of assassins, who were, for the most part, persons 
of good education and men of property. In Sicily matters were 
still worse. There, a society of Brigands, called Maffia, holds 
the island in a state of perpetual terror. Numerous Garibaldians 
who have been without employment since 1870, and were long 
tolerated, on account of former complicity, added to the ranks of 
this fraternity. The Maffia rid themselves of another society, the 
Kamorra, by the successive assassination at Palermo alone, of 
twenty-three of its chiefs. All these crimes remain unpunished, 
none daring to bear witness against the guilty. 

In the departments of government there is not less moral 
disorder. The finances are mismanaged and dilapidated. 
Notwithstanding the enormous and oppressive increase of 
[395] taxation, together with the forcible appropriation of ecclesiastical 

property, deficits are the order of the day, and the nation has 
been, more than once, and probably is still, on the verge of 
bankruptcy. Truly, may the Italians, who are twenty-three to one, 
exclaim, in their distress: Quo usque tandem abuteris patientia 
nostra? "How long, O disastrous revolution! wilt thou abuse our 

Nor are the better thinking Italians without blame. Why 
did they not take part — why do they not still take part in the 

Pius IX. And His Time. 395 

elections, and return, as they well may, a majority to the would-be 
constitutional parliament? Their numbers would, undoubtedly, 
be imposing and influential. So much so, indeed, that they must 
finally obtain admission, without burdening their conscience with 
an obnoxious oath. What did not Daniel O'Connell, Ireland's 
liberator, accomplish, by causing himself alone to be elected for 
an Irish constituency, and by proceeding to demand the seat to 
which he was elected in the British parliament, without uttering 
an oath which shocked his conscience? 


The cruel and sanguinary persecution of Catholics in the 
Russian Empire was a cause of intense sorrow to Pius IX. He 
could do nothing towards alleviating the sufferings of those 
unfortunate people. The Tsar, Alexander II., shows in his 
treatment of his Ruthenian subjects of the united Greek Church, 
that he is wholly unworthy of the reputation for enlightenment 
and benevolence with which he has been credited. The 
Empress, indeed, is blamed, together with her fanatical favorite, 
Melle. Bludow, the Minister of Public Instruction, Tolstoy, and 
Gromeka, Governor of Siedlce, for having urged him to use 
the power of the empire in forcing conversions to Russo-Greek 
orthodoxy. That the heads of a semi-barbarous nation should so 
advise is not surprising. The Tsar, who is an absolute monarch, 
cannot be excused. There is every reason, besides, for holding 
him personally responsible. When he was at Warsaw, a peasant 
woman, bearing a petition, succeeded in obtaining admission [396] 
to his presence. As soon as he learned that the petition begged 
toleration for the united Greek Church, he replied by inserting 
in all the newspapers a confirmation of the orders formerly 
given for the extinction of that church. Count Alexandrowicz de 
Constantinovo was repeatedly warned by the Russian authorities 
that he had no right to attend the Latin churches, which, being 
less persecuted, were a refuge for the united Greeks, when, 
indeed, as was rarely the case, they were allowed to enjoy it. The 

396 Pius IX. And His Time 

Count, hoping to be more liberally dealt with by the enlightened 
Tsar, who was said to surpass in all that was great and noble, his 
tolerant predecessor, Alexander I., proceeded to St. Petersburgh. 
The Tsar made a reply to his representation, which, in the case 
of an ordinary mortal, would be taken for a proof of stupidity, or 
of impenetrable ignorance. "The Orthodox religion is pleasing 
to me. Why should it not please you also?" It remained only for 
the Count to sell his properties and abandon his country. More 
humble members of the obnoxious church could not so easily 
escape. The savage treatment to which they were subjected can 
only be briefly alluded to here. A persecution which has lasted 
more than a hundred years, and is not yet at an end, is more a 
subject for the general history of the church than for the life of 
Pius IX. A few facts, therefore, must suffice. 

In the important diocese of Chelm, particularly, the most 
ingenious devices were had recourse to, in order to delude 
the Catholic people, and induce them to comply with the 
requirements of the Russo-Greek Church. All these failing, 
force was had recourse to, and it was used, assuredly, without 
stint or measure. Seizure of property, imprisonment, the lash 
and exile to Siberia, proved equally unavailing, as persecution, 
in every form, must always be. Greater excesses were then had 
recourse to. 

They who dared to perform a pilgrimage, take part in a 
religious procession, or enter a Catholic Church, were shot down 
like the wild game of the forests, by the fanatical myrmidons 
[397] of the Tsar. In January, 1874, the people of Rudno were 

forced to abandon their dwellings and take refuge in the woods. 
At Chmalowski, several united Greeks, of whom three were 
women, were flogged to death by Cossack troops. At Pratulin, in 
the district of Janow, when a number of people assembled in a 
cemetery, were guarding the door of the church against apostate 
priests, a German colonel, who commanded three companies of 
Cossacks, ordered his troops to fire. Nine of the people fell dead 

Pius IX. And His Time. 397 

on the spot. A great many more were mortally wounded. Of these 
four died within the day. "Thus does the Tsar punish rebels," 
said the savage colonel to the mayors of the neighboring villages, 
whom he had forced to witness the execution. At Drylow, five 
men were slain on the same day, and in the same cruel way as 
at Pratulin. So recently as August, 1870, a body of peasants, 
returning from a pilgrimage, were attacked by Russian soldiers. 
They defended themselves bravely, as best they could, with 
no better weapons than their walking canes. Six of the troops 
fell, and thirty, one of whom was an officer, were wounded. 
Reinforcements coming to the aid of the military, the peasants 
were defeated, and a great number of them killed and wounded. 
Among the latter were many women, and seven children. Two 
hundred arrests were made, the next and following days. The 
prisoners were at first immured in the Citadel of Warsaw. It is 
not probable that they will ever be allowed to visit their kindred 
or their native villages. 

Pius IX., being partially informed of such cruelties, which it 
was utterly beyond his power to prevent, wrote to the United 
Greek Archbishop of Lemberg, Sembratovicz, conjuring him to 
send to the sorely persecuted people all the help in his power, 
both spiritual and material. He declared, at the same time, by 
the Bull, "omnem sollicitudinem" dated 13th May, 1874, that the 
Liturgies proper to the Eastern Churches, and particularly that of 
the United Greeks, which was settled by the Council of Tamose, 
in 1720, were always held in high esteem by the Holy See, and 
ought to be carefully preserved. Hearing that a Bull which [398] 
concerned them had arrived from Rome, the Ruthenian peasants 
sent secretly to Lemberg, in order to procure it. Their envoys 
entering Galicia without passports, incurred the risk of being 
sent to Siberia. When the Bull was once obtained, the people 
assembled in groups, in remote places, and any one who could 
read, read it to the rest of the company. It was held in honor as 
a relic. When the Russians discovered that the Bull was known 

398 Pius IX. And His Time 

to the people, they did their best to cause it to be misunderstood, 
both among the clergy and the laity. They insisted, even, that 
the Pope had discarded the Greek rite; that henceforth, they who 
adhered to Rome, could not celebrate either the Mass of St. John 
Chrysostom or that of St. Basil, and that the marriage of secular 
priests, together with the Sclavonic language, would cease to be 

It has been attempted to conceal from the civilized world the 
more atrocious circumstances of the Russian persecution. But 
the darkest deeds of the darkest despotism cannot be always done 
in the dark. The press of continental Europe has informed the 
public mind. If anything were wanting to satisfy English readers, 
generally, it would be found in the despatch of Mr. Marshall 
Jewell, Minister of the United States, at St. Petersburgh, to 
Mr. Secretary Fish. This document is dated at the United States 
Legation at St. Petersburgh, 23rd February, 1874. The minister 
begins by stating that he took great pains to be correctly informed, 
regarding the state of matters, before writing his report. This, 
he adds, was not done without difficulty, as the affair was kept 
very quiet at St. Petersburgh. Certain repressive measures for the 
conversion of the Ruthenian Catholics having proved inadequate, 
"new and more stringent orders were given a few weeks later. In 
consequence of these orders, several priests (thirty-four, I have 
been told) who persisted in performing the former services, were 
arrested. In some localities the peasants refused to go to the 
churches when the Orthodox priests officiated, until they were 
[399] forced to go by the troops. In other localities they assembled 

in crowds, shut the churches, and prevented the priests from 
performing the offices. In one case, it is said, a priest was 
stoned to death. Conflicts arose between the peasants and the 
armed force. On such occasions many persons were maltreated, 
and in the case of the village of Drelow — 28th February — thirty 
peasants were slain, and many more wounded. It is said, even, 
that several soldiers were killed. It is reported that the prisons 

Pius IX. And His Time. 399 

at Lublin and Kielce are crammed with prisoners. The peasants 
have also been flogged, men receiving fifty, women twenty-five, 
and children ten lashes each. Some women, more determined and 
outspoken than the rest, were punished with a hundred lashes. 
Like troubles, it is said, have occurred at Pratulin and other 
localities, with loss of life.... Last summer, the peasants of divers 
villages, in the Government of Lublin, were constantly obliged 
to submit to examination, and to appear before the courts. It was, 
in consequence, impossible for them to cultivate their fields; 
and, hence, they have been reduced almost to a state of famine. 
(Signed.) Marshall Jewell." 


It is comparatively an easy undertaking to create trouble and 
disturbance in the church. It is not so easy, however, to establish a 
schism. The Prussian chancellor learned this fact when he beheld 
the failure of his alt-Catholic scheme in Germany. Having tried 
the same game in Turkey, his projects, notwithstanding the aid 
and countenance of the Mussulman Power, proved abortive. The 
government of the sublime Porte had been very tolerant hitherto, 
as regarded its Catholic subjects. In the early days of Pius IX. 
it had concurred with the Holy See in establishing a Catholic 
bishop at Jerusalem; it protected pilgrimages and processions; 
it favored colleges and institutions for ecclesiastical education; 
and to such a degree that, under its auspices and through its 
care, there are several flourishing seminaries which renew the 
intellectual life of the people who follow the Latin rite. A united 
Bulgarian church has been founded and is daily gaining strength. [400] 
The Maronites are almost completely restored after the disaster 
of 1860. The number of Greek Catholics or Melchites, has been 
almost doubled, so great is the number of conversions. The same 
may be said of the Chaldean or Armenian Catholics. These last 
are probably the best informed and the most influential of the 
Christian populations under the Sultan's rule. Prussian intrigue, 
and a momentary renewal of Mussulman fanaticism, have done 

400 Pius IX. And His Time 

much to check, if not wholly to destroy this happy state of 
things. One Kupelian, aspiring to be patriarch of Armenia, was 
put forward by rich and influential parties as the administrator 
of their nation, and they succeeded in obtaining from the Porte 
his investiture, as the only true Head of the Armenian Catholics. 
The legitimate chief, Hassoum, Patriarch of Cilicia, protested. 
In vain, however, as France was no longer able to maintain 
his right. The last ambassador of that country representing 
Napoleon III., had even supported the pretensions and favored 
the machinations of the Kupelianites. The Porte was induced to 
treat Hassoum as a seditious person, and banished him from the 
country. The exile found his way to Rome, where he was kindly 
received by Pius IX. He did not return to Constantinople till 1 876. 
Meanwhile, persecution was cruelly carried on. Bishops were 
expelled from their sees, rectors from their parishes, churches, 
monasteries and hospitals were seized by force of arms. At 
Damascus, Broussa, Sinope, Mardyn, Mossoul, all the principal 
towns of the Ottoman Empire, Armenian Catholics were forcibly 
driven from their churches, in order to make room for mere 
handfuls of Kupelianists. The persecution extended as far as 
Cairo. At Augora, twelve thousand Armenian Catholics were 
dispossessed in favor of twelve dissenters, one of these twelve 
being an apostate monk, the delegate of Kupelian. At Adana, the 
church, the school, and the residence of the Catholic Armenian 
bishop, with all the revenues attached thereto, became the prey 
of two individuals, a priest and a lay person. At Trebizonde, the 
[401] bishop was expelled by Russian bayonettes, and died of grief. 

The value of property taken from Catholics is estimated at one 
hundred millions of livres. For what, it may be asked, was the 
power of an empire exercised, and so much robbery perpetrated? 
In favor, at least, one would say, of some important sect? No such 
thing. It was all for the would-be Kupelian schism, seven hundred 
strong. It is needless here to say how soon the degenerate Sultan, 
Abdul Aziz, and his prevaricating empire met their reward, whilst 

Pius IX. And His Time. 401 

the legitimate Armenian patriarch, Hassoum, so long the victim 
of persecution, has been restored, is honored by the government 
of his country and held in the highest esteem by the Chief Pastor 
of the Christian fold. All this was foretold by Pius IX., although, 
indeed, the Holy Pontiff pretended not to utter a prophecy. In 
a letter intended for the consolation of the banished Archbishop 
of Mardyn, in Mesopotamia, and the Armenian Catholics, he 
says: "It behooves us not to lose courage, nor to believe that the 
triumph of iniquity will be of long continuance. For, does not the 
Scripture say: 'The wicked man is caught in his own perversity; 
he is bound by the chains of his crimes, and he who digs a pit 
for others will fall into it himself: he who casts a stone into the 
path of his neighbor, will strike against it and stumble; finally, he 
who lays a snare for another will be caught therein himself.' This 
war, venerable, brother, is waged, not so much against men as 
against God. It is because of hatred to his name that his ministers 
and faithful people are persecuted. Persecution constitutes their 
merit and their glory. God will at length arise and vindicate his 
cause. Whilst I applaud your firmness, I most earnestly exhort 
you never to let it fail you, but to possess your soul in patience, 
to wait confidently, and, at the same time, courageously, for you 
rely not on your own strength, but on the power of God, whose 
cause you maintain. Your constancy will confirm that of your 
brethren of the clergy and of the flock confided to your care. It 
will lead to a moral victory, assuredly more brilliant and more 
solid than the ephemeral success of violence." [402] 

It was not long till the news of the day bore that many 
distinguished persons were returning to the one fold. A moral 
victory for the Armenian Catholics was following fast in the 
wake of successful force. The number of Kupelianists was 
diminishing. The churches and church properties of Adana and 
Diabekir, were abandoned by them in 1876, and the schism was 
in course of being extinguished. 

The Chaldean patriarch, Audon, rashly undertook to establish 

402 Pius IX. And His Time 

a schism. Towards the end of February, 1873, he was reconciled 
to Pius IX., and relieved from the censures which he had 
incurred. The Chaldean Catholics gave a great deal of trouble. 
However anxiously Pius IX. labored for their salvation, they are 
insignificant in point of numbers, scarcely as many as would 
constitute a parish in any of our cities. Any further historical 
notice of them may, therefore, be very properly dispensed with. 


China, where the light of Christianity has sought so long to 
penetrate and dispel the dismal gloom of heathen darkness, may 
now, at length, be said to enjoy the greatest possible degree 
of religious liberty. The European Powers, Great Britain and 
France, whilst securing the freedom of trade, and generally 
that intercourse which is customary between civilized nations, 
neglected not, at the same time, to establish such relations as 
render safe and available the labors of Christian missionaries. 
If, in Tonquin, there occurred a fearful massacre of Christians, 
it was due to the indiscretion of a French officer who exceeded 
his orders, and excited against his fellow-countrymen and 
the Christian populations, generally, the anger of the pagan 
Mandarins. The vengeance of these chiefs was prompt, sweeping 
and cruel. In the localities inhabited by Christians only some 
women and little children were spared. Not a house was left. The 
French government probably, from unwillingness to recognize, 
in any way, the action of its officer, refrained from punishing 
[403] these atrocities. A treaty, placing the whole country of Tonquin 

under the protection of France, was concluded with the Emperor 
of Aunam, who is the Liege Lord of Tonquin, and thus liberty to 
preach the Gospel secured for the future. 

In India and Western China, liberty of conscience has long 
prevailed. Pius IX. was, in consequence, enabled to increase the 
number of vicariates-apostolic in those countries, as well as in 
China proper, in proportion to the growth of the faithful people, 
however inconsiderable it was, as yet in the midst of countless 

Pius IX. And His Time. 403 

numbers of heathens and Mahometans. 

The Pontificate of Pius IX. would be for ever memorable, if 
only on account of the new era which appears, at length, to have 
dawned for the long benighted empire of Japan. That empire was 
as a sealed book to all Christian nations. As is well known, no 
traveller or merchant from any Christian land could set foot on 
its territory without first performing the revolting ceremony of 
trampling on the chief emblem of the Christian faith. At one time, 
nevertheless, there were many Christians in Japan, and, as will 
be seen, heathen prejudice and persecution had not been able to 
extinguish the Divine light. It may be conceived how searching 
and cruel the persecution was when it is remembered that, in the 
early part of the seventeenth century, there were two millions of 
Christians, and, about the same time, almost as many martyrs. 
All missionaries who, since 1630, landed on the inhospitable 
shores of Japan, were immediately seized, tortured, and put to 
death. It was generally believed that the Christian people were 
totally exterminated. Pius IX., notwithstanding, as if actuated 
by some secret inspiration, the very first year of his Pontificate, 
created a vicariate-apostolic of Japan. Several endeavors to enter 
into communication with the Japanese were made; but, for a long 
time, to no purpose. The sealed-up empire, at length, opened its 
ports to Great Britain and the United States of America. Such was 
the power of trade. The other civilized nations could no longer 
be excluded. Japan concluded a treaty with France by virtue of 
which the subjects of the latter State were secured in the free [404] 
exercise of their religion among the Japanese. Mgr. Petitjean, 
who was, at the time, the vicar- apostolic, availed himself of such 
favorable relations to erect a church at Yokohama, and establish 
his residence at Nagasaki. All this was happily accomplished 
under the encouraging auspices of Pius IX. One day, as the 
vicar-apostolic had concluded the celebration of Mass, some 
inhabitants of a large village named Ourakami, near the city, 
came to him with countenances, expressive, at the same time, of 

404 Pius IX. And His Time 

joy and fear. Addressing him, they said: "Have you and your 
priests renounced marriage, and do you honor in your prayers the 
Mother of Christ?" The missionary replying in the affirmative, 
the Japanese fell on their knees and exclaimed: "You are, indeed, 
the disciples of Saint Francis Xavier, our first apostle. You are the 
true brethren of our former Jesuit Fathers. At last, after a lapse of 
two hundred years, we behold, once more, the priests of the true 
faith!" They gave thanks to God, shedding abundance of tears, 
with which mingled those of the good missionary; "religion," 
they added, "is free only to strangers. The law has not ceased to 
punish us Japanese Catholics with death. No matter; receive us, 
nevertheless, and instruct us. The lapse of time and the want of 
books have, perhaps, disfigured in our memories the teachings 
of truth. There will happen to us whatever it shall please God to 

Four thousand families, comprising fourteen thousand 
individuals, had secretly persevered, clinging to the Catholic 
faith since the days of the Apostolic Xavier. Notwithstanding all 
the prudence of the missionaries, the secret of their relations with 
the natives became known to the local police, and more than four 
thousand inhabitants of Ourakami were arrested, bastinadoed, 
imprisoned or transported to the North. Their punishment lasted 
four years. One-third of their number died of want, but few of 
them gave way. The survivors of these persecuted people were 
finally restored to their country, and through the representations 
[405] of the European consuls, religious liberty was granted, at least, 

provisionally, to natives as well as strangers. Thus did Pius IX., 
at length, enjoy the consolation to behold, established in peace, 
the church which St. Francis Xavier had planted in the Empire 
of Japan, and which was so celebrated in the annals of Christian 


Gonsalvez de Oliveira, Bishop of Olinda, had found it 
necessary to warn his diocesans against the machinations of 

Pius IX. And His Time. 405 

certain secret societies, which were alike hostile to the Church 
and to the State. They had obtained so much influence with 
the latter as to be able to attack, with impunity, the Sisters of 
Charity, and the priests of the Lazarist congregation, as well as 
all other zealous priests who sought to restore the discipline of 
the church. Whilst, on the one hand, the bishop was sustained by 
the congratulations and encouragement of the Holy See, and by 
the deference to ecclesiastical authority of many Catholics who 
had been accustomed to consider the secret societies as most 
inoffensive associations, he was urged, on the other hand, by the 
fury of the chiefs of those societies, who, alone, know all that 
they aim at and hold secret. 

The Emperor, Don Pedro II., influenced by his free-thinking 
entourage, judged that the pastoral letter should be denounced to 
the Council of State. The councillors declared that it was an illegal 
document, not having received the Imperial placet "required by 
the Constitution of the Empire." Now commenced the most 
heartless, and, as is always the case, unavailing persecution. 
By order of the ministry, the procurator-general summoned the 
Bishop of Olinda before the Supreme Court of Rio Janeiro. The 
intrepid prelate replied by a letter, in which he declared that 
he could not, in conscience, appear before the Supreme Court, 
because it was impossible to do so, without acknowledging the 
competence of a civil court in matters purely religious. On 3rd 
January, 1874, the bishop was ordered to go to prison. He 
intimated that he would yield only to force. The chief of police, 
accordingly, accompanied by two army officers, repaired to the [406] 
Episcopal palace, and conducted Mgr. de Oliveira to the port 
where a ship of war was in attendance, to transport him to the 
maritime arsenal of Rio Janeiro, one of the most unwholesome 
stations in Brazil. There the illustrious prisoner was visited 
by Mgr. Lacerda, Bishop of Rio Janeiro, who took off his 
pectoral cross, which was a family keep-sake, and placing it 
around the neck of Mgr. Oliveira, said: "My Lord, you have 

406 Pius IX. And His Time 

full jurisdiction throughout this land to which you are brought 
as a captive. My clergy, the chapter of my cathedral, all will be 
most happy to obey your orders. Have the goodness to bless us 
all. The blessing of those who suffer persecution in the cause of 
Christ is a pledge of salvation." Bishop Lacerda, before retiring, 
handed to the prisoner a large sum of money, in order that he 
should want for nothing, and promised to renew his visit as often 
as the gaolers would permit. Almost all the bishops of Brazil 
sent congratulatory telegrams to the imprisoned bishop. One of 
them went so far as to identify himself with the action of the 
Bishop of Olinda, by doing in like manner. It was the Bishop of 
Para, who was speedily transferred from his Episcopal palace to 
prison. The administrator who filled his place, having refused to 
remove the interdict which had been pronounced against certain 
confraternities which admitted members of the secret societies, 
was condemned on 25th April, 1875, to six years of forced penal 
labor. Four years of the like torture were decreed against the 
administrator of Olinda for a similar offence. So much for the 
humanitarian Emperor of Brazil and his enlightened advisers. 

It was not long till new elections raised to power, men who had 
more respect for the Episcopal office, and the wretched Brazilian 
persecution came to an end. 

The Bishop of Olinda was no sooner set at liberty than he 
repaired to Rome, in order to give an account of his conduct to 
Pius IX. The Holy Father gave him every proof of the warmest 
[407] affection. 

The lesser States of South America, which, on being 
emancipated from the yoke of Spain, had chosen the republican 
form of government, became a source of intense anxiety to the 
Holy Father. Venezuela, Chili, the Argentine Republic, and, 
even Hayti, appear to have been seized with the spirit of the time. 
They had become too great, one would say, to accept humbly the 
teachings of religion. Even Chili, where comparative moderation 
prevailed, made an attempt to subordinate in all things, spiritual 

Pius IX. And His Time. 407 

as well as temporal, the Church to the State. The bishops, as in 
duty bound, protested; and, being unanimously supported by the 
people, the attack of Chilian free-thinkers, on public peace and 
liberty, was abandoned. The trouble in Hayti arose more from a 
desire, on the part of the negroes, to have native priests than any 
real hostility to religion. The government ignorantly assumed the 
right to appoint the chief administrators of the Church. The people 
were painfully affected by this unwarrantable encroachment on 
the spiritual power. It was hardly to be supposed that Peru should 
be out of the fashion. Pius IX. appears, however, to have settled 
the difficulties of the Peruvians, by granting to their presidents 
the same right of patronage which was formerly enjoyed by the 
Kings of Spain. The religious troubles of Mexico were not so 
easily composed. The civil authorities of that sadly unsettled 
republic, urged, it is believed, by the secret societies, aimed 
at nothing less than the total suppression of religion. On 24th 
November, 1 874, they decreed that no public functionary or body 
of officials, whether civil or military, should attend any religious 
office whatsoever. "The Sunday or Sabbath day," they impiously 
ruled, "shall henceforth be tolerated only in as far as it affords 
rest to public employees." Religious instruction, together with all 
practices of religion, was prohibited in all the establishments of 
the federation of the States and the municipalities. No religious 
act could be done except in the churches, and there, only, under 
the superintendence of the police. No religious institution was 
authorized to acquire real estate or any capital accruing from [408] 
such property. Article nineteen of this detestable legislation, 
and which was carried by one hundred and thirteen to fifty-seven 
votes, interdicted the Sisters of Charity from living in community 
and wearing publicly their costume. Thus were expelled from 
Mexico four hundred sisters, who performed their charitable 
offices in the hospitals, schools and asylums of the country. 
Public opinion was roused, but to no purpose. The good sisters 
were allowed to embark for France, bearing with them the fate of 

408 Pius IX. And His Time 

thousands of the unfortunate. They may, perhaps, be replaced by 
the Prussian chancellor's deaconesses; of this sisterhood, the best 
suited for the Mexican climate, would, no doubt, be that portion 
which fled from Smyrna on the approach of an epidemic. 


In the midst of so many discontented, turbulent, persecuting, 
semi-barbarous States, there was one where there was neither 
discontent, nor turbulence, nor persecution. This favored 
Republic of Ecuador was in close communion with Pius IX., and 
its president discarding all the fine-spun views and chimerical 
theories of the time, ruled, as became the chief of a free State, 
according to the wishes and the generally accepted principles 
of his people. A republic, so governed, provided it remain 
uncorrupt, cannot fail to enjoy the highest degree of prosperity 
compatible with its position and material resources. Not only 
did Ecuador itself enjoy the fruits of its truly free and rationally 
republican government, it was able also to extend the blessings of 
its Christian and liberal civilization to neighboring tribes. Moved 
by the example and the representations of the good people 
of Ecuador, nine thousand savages of the Province of Oriente 
were induced to adopt the habits of Christian civilization. The 
government of the enlightened president, Garcia Moreno, was 
so abundantly blessed that, in twelve years, the trade of Ecuador 
was doubled, as were also the number of its schools and the sum 
[409] of its public revenues. 

So bright an illustration of the good-working of sound 
principles was not to be tolerated. The love of a grateful and 
prosperous people could not protect their great and successful 
fellow-citizens against the weapons of secret conspirators. 
Political fanatics, who were strangers in Ecuador, and who, 
according to their own declaration, bore no personal ill-will to 
the president, struck the fatal blow. "I die," said the illustrious 
victim, as he expired, "but God dieth not!" The assassins were 
they who hold that God has no business in this world. "Dixit 

Pius IX. And His Time. 409 

insipicus; non est Deus." 

Pius IX. lamented the death of Garcia Moreno, as he had 
lamented some seven-and-twenty years before, the untimely fate 
of his own minister, Count Rossi. He extolled the President 
of Ecuador in several allocutions, as the champion of true 
civilization and its martyr. He caused his obsequies to be 
solemnized in one of the Basilicas of Rome, over which he still 
held authority, and ordered that his bust should be placed in one 
of the galleries of the Vatican. 

In the estimation of a certain class of politicians, Moreno 
was behind the age. In reality he was far in advance of it. 
The mania for Godless government, Godless education, Godless 
manners, and generally a Godless state of society, is only a 
passing phase on the face of the world. If, indeed, it be anything 
more, woe to mankind! Despair only can harbor the idea of its 
long continuance. The social and political chaos which darkens 
the age, must, surely, a little sooner or a little later, give way to 
that order which is heaven's first law. Moreno beheld, through 
the storms that raged around his infant State, the early dawn of 
this better day. This light led him onwards. History will place 
him, not only among heroes and sages, but also among the most 
renowned initiators of great movements. His death is a glorious 
protest against the Godless, reckless, revolutionary sects. His 
high career will be as a monument throughout the centuries, 
constantly reminding mankind that, in this age, which may well 
be called the age of chaos and confusion — confusion in politics, 
confusion in the social State, confusion of ideas — there was, at [410] 
least, one favored spot, where truth, order and justice reigned, 
and there was a contented and happy people. 


The Protestant and free-thinking majority in Switzerland were 
jealous of the prosperity of the Catholic Church. They must, 
therefore, if possible, divide, and by dividing, weaken, if not 
destroy, the Catholic body. The most efficient means they could 

410 Pius IX. And His Time 

think of was the establishment of an old or alt-Catholic Church 
on the model of that of Germany. The idea was at hand, and 
the elements were not far to seek. Among the Swiss Catholic 
clergy there were none so weak as to betray their church. In 
the coterminous country — France, where there are fifty thousand 
parochial priests, some thirty were found already in disgrace 
among their brethren, who were ready to form the nucleus of 
the proposed schismatical church. The pretext was the pretended 
novelties introduced by the (Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, 
which, they insisted, changed the character of the ancient Catholic 
Church. The schism once on foot, the majority in the State 
affected to treat the real Catholics as dissenters, and the handful 
of schismatics as the Catholic Church of Switzerland. Founding 
on this idea, persecution was speedily inaugurated. First came 
the secularization of several abbeys, which the revolution of the 
sixteenth century had respected, in the northern cantons, and the 
confiscation of the Church of Zurich, which was handed over to 
the alt-Catholics. Their next measure was the expulsion of Mgr. 
Mermillod, Bishop of Hebron and Coadjutor of Geneva. Mgr. 
Lachat, Bishop of Bale, was then deprived, and, on a purely 
theological pretext, his public adhesion to the Council of the 
Vatican. The sixty-nine parish priests of Bernese Jura, having 
declared in writing that they remained faithful to the Bishop of 
Bale, were, in their turn, suspended from their offices and driven, 
at first, from their parishes, and afterwards from the country. As 
[4ii] there was not a sufficient number of foreign priests to replace 

the dispossessed clergy, the number of parishes was arbitrarily 
reduced from seventy-six to twenty-eight. It was regulated that 
nominations should, henceforth, be made by the government 
alone, and by a single stroke of the pen were suppressed, both the 
Concordat concluded with Rome, in 1828, and the act of re-union 
of 1815, by which, when Bernese Jura, formerly French, was 
incorporated with Switzerland, an engagement was made with 
France to respect, in every way, the liberty of Catholic worship. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 4 1 1 

France was not in a position, at the time, to enforce the terms of 
the treaty. They who dared to call it to mind, accordingly, were 
sent to prison or heavily fined. 

Almost all the Bernese clergy, when banished from their 
churches and presbyteries, sought shelter and protection on the 
hospitable soil of France. From that country they returned often, 
under cover of night, to their forsaken parishes, in order to 
administer the sacraments and perform other religious offices 
for the consolation of their flocks, hastening back to the land of 
liberty and safety before the approach of day. The persecution 
was carried to such extremes that the Catholics were not only 
deprived of their churches, but forbidden, under severe penalties, 
to assemble for Divine worship, even in barns or such-like places. 
"As an official of the State of Beam," wrote a school inspector to 
a school mistress, "you are bound to strive, with all your might, 
that the purposes of the said State, as regards attendance at public 
worship, be carried out. If your conscience does not admit of your 
attending the Church which is recognized and approved by the 
government, I leave you at liberty to refrain from attending any 
worship, but I forbid you to go to the barn, where the deprived 
parish priest officiates, because I would not have you set a bad 
example to your children." 

No encouragement or word of consolation that Pius IX. could 
bestow, was wanting to his persecuted children of Switzerland. 
In addressing Bishop Lachat, whom he received with every mark 
of friendship, when he came to represent the sad condition to [412] 
which he was reduced, the Holy Father said: "To you also it is 
now given to experience the greatest happiness that can fall to 
the lot of an apostolic man. This happiness is thus expressed in 
the New Testament: Ibant gaudentes, quoniam digni habiti sunt 
pro nomine Jesu contumeliam pad. They went away rejoicing, 
because they were thought worthy to suffer reproach for the 
name of Jesus." 

The Prussian chancellor, as devoid of humanity as he was 

412 Pius IX. And His Time 

short-sighted in statesmanship, forbad the exiled clergy of 
Switzerland to set foot in the annexed Province of Alsace. 
The brutal conduct of the chancellor could, however, only injure 
himself. It stigmatizes him as a persecutor throughout the ages, 
as long as history shall be read, whilst the sufferers to whom he 
refused shelter and bread, found abundant compensation in the 
generous hospitality of the French nation. 

Mentha est iniquitas sibi. The persecution brought little 
benefit to either the Protestant or infidel party in the Bernese 
Legislature, by whom it was inaugurated, whilst the moral power 
of the Catholics was greatly increased. Travellers relate that "the 
Catholics of Jura treat with a degree of contempt, as immense as 
is their faith, the apostate priests who banished the true ministers 
of God. They assembled in barns and all sorts of out-buildings, 
all remaining faithful to God, the Holy Church and their parish 
priests. Faith which slept in some souls is reawakened and 
endowed with new life. Bernese Jura is more Catholic than 

The Central Council of the Swiss Confederation, at length, 
became ashamed of the inglorious name which the Canton of 
Beam was making for the common country — the country of 
William Tell so highly famed for its love of liberty and its noble 
hospitality. Perhaps, also, they were not unconcerned to find 
that travellers from other lands protested, in their way, against 
the barbarous persecution, and left their money in more favored 

The Bernese government was advised, either to proceed legally 
[413] and regularly against the parish priests, or to recall them. There 

being nothing on which to found legal proceedings, the exiles 
returned to their country at the end of 1875. The persecution was 
not, however, at an end. Neither churches, nor presbyteries, nor 
liberty, were restored. The faithful clergy, rich in the fidelity of 
their devoted flocks, fulfilled the duties of their ministry in the 
darkness of night, using every precaution in order to escape the 

Pius IX. And His Time. 4 1 3 

snares of the police, and to avoid fines and imprisonment, which 
were now the punishment instead of exile. 


Taking leave of the dark and dreary pages which bear the 
melancholy record of persecution, we turn, with a feeling of 
relief, to the more cheering picture presented by those countries 
where the great principle of religious liberty has come, at length, 
to be fully understood. It was a great day for the united kingdom 
of Great Britain and Ireland, when the legal disabilities which 
weighed so long on the Catholic people, were removed. It was the 
noble and powerful protest of a mighty empire against the narrow 
and irrational spirit of persecution, which still disgraces so many 
of the European nations. If ever the Catholics, by superiority of 
numbers, which is far from being an impossible state of things, 
should come to sway the destinies of that empire, the glorious 
fact will be remembered and bear its fruit. England, Ireland and 
Scotland, already enjoy an abundant measure of their reward, in 
the increase of piety and of that righteousness which exalteth a 
nation. This is manifest in many ways. It is particularly shown 
forth by the more friendly feeling towards the Catholics of the 
empire which now universally prevails. We may not be supposed 
to know much, here in Canada, about the state of sentiment or 
opinion in England. But when we appeal to the testimony of so 
eminent an Englishman as Cardinal Newman, what we affirm 
cannot be easily gainsaid. In a discourse recently delivered at 
Birmingham, on the growth of the Catholic Church in England, 
the very learned cardinal noted the striking contrast between the [414] 
feeling towards Catholics in Cardinal Wiseman's time and that of 
the present day, and accounted for the improvement by showing 
that there is now a much better knowledge of the Catholic religion 
among Protestants. "What I wish to show," said his Eminence, 
"and what I believe to be the remarkable fact is, that whereas 
there have been many conversions to the Catholic Church during 
the last thirty years, and a great deal of ill-will felt towards us, in 

414 Pius IX. And His Time 

consequence, nevertheless, that ill-will has been overcome, and 
a feeling of positive good-will has been created instead in the 
minds of our very enemies, by means of those conversions which 
they feared from their hatred of us. How this was, let me now 
say: The Catholics in England, fifty years ago, were an unknown 
sect amongst us. Now there is hardly a family but has brothers or 
sisters, or cousins or connections, or friends and acquaintances, 
or associates in business or work, of that religion, not to mention 
the large influx of population from the sister island: and such 
an interpenetration of Catholics with Protestants, especially in 
our great cities, could not take place without there being a 
gradual accumulation of experience, slow, indeed, but therefore 
the more sure about individual Catholics, and what they really 
are in character, and, whether or not, they can be trusted in 
the concerns and intercourse of life; and I fancy that Protestants, 
spontaneously, and before setting about to form a judgment, have 
found them to be men whom they could be drawn to like and 
to love quite as much as their fellow-Protestants — to be human 
beings in whom they could be interested and sympathize with, 
and interchange good offices with, before the question of religion 
came into consideration." 

The increase in the number of Catholics and of Catholic 
institutions in Great Britain, has kept pace with the growth of 
friendly sentiments in their regard. That island, "the mother of 
nations," appears to be destined to unite by means of her ever 
spreading language, the immense family of mankind. For what 
[415] end and purpose none can tell. The hidden ways of Divine 

Providence are known to God alone. We may, nevertheless, in 
view of certain well-known facts, presume to draw the veil of 
mystery aside, and discover so far the secret of God's mercy. In 
Pius the Ninth's time the number of Catholics has been doubled 
in Great Britain, as well as in the United States of America, 
Canada, Australia, remote India and the Cape of Good Hope. 

At the time of the election of Pius IX., there were in England 

Pius IX. And His Time. 4 1 5 

and Scotland eight hundred and twenty Catholic priests. There are 
now two thousand and eighty-eight. 12 The number of churches 
and chapels had grown from six hundred and twenty-six to one 
thousand three hundred and fifteen. Within the last twenty 
years religious houses for men had increased from twenty-one 
to seventy-three, and convents for religious sisters, from ninety- 
seven to two hundred and thirty-nine. Catholic schools and 
colleges had more than doubled their number, being now one 
thousand three hundred, whilst a little over twenty years ago it 
was five hundred. 

In the British colonies, generally, including British America, 
Australia, India, and the West Indies, there were, in 1855, no 
more than forty-four Episcopal Sees, several of which owed 
their erection to Pius IX. By the year 1876, the solicitude of the 
same venerable Pontiff had raised to eighty-eight, the number 
of archbishops and bishops who exercised the duties of their 
sacred office, throughout the Colonial Empire of Great Britain. 
In the whole empire there cannot be fewer than one hundred 
and twenty-five prelates, whether vicars-apostolic, archbishops, 
bishops, or prefects-apostolic. 

In no country have the benefits of religious liberty been more 
abundantly enjoyed than in Canada. In 1869, the two Provinces [416] 
of Ontario and Quebec, formerly Canada West and Canada 
East, counted ten dioceses and seven hundred and seventy-nine 
churches. Including Sherbrooke, Chicoutimi, and the vicariate- 
apostolic of Northern Canada, there are now thirteen dioceses in 
the two provinces, whilst, during the seven years anterior to 1 876, 
there was an increase of one hundred and seventy-three churches, 
making, in all, one thousand one hundred and seventy-one. In 
the same period religious houses had increased from seventy- 
three to one hundred and ninety-six. Education of a religious 
character is, at the same time, amply provided for. There are, 

12 A later estimate than at page 120. 

416 Pius IX. And His Time 

in the Province of Quebec, three thousand one hundred and 
thirty-nine parochial, and altogether three thousand six hundred 
and thirty elementary schools, for a population of one million 
eight hundred and eighty-two thousand souls. These schools, 
without including educational institutions of a more private kind, 
which are very numerous in Lower Canada (Quebec), allow one 
school to every six hundred people. It may be doubted whether 
Prussia, even, which possesses greater facilities for education 
than any other European country, comes up to this standard. The 
increase of Catholic people everywhere, throughout the country, 
keeps pace with the building of churches and the establishing of 
Catholic schools and other religious institutions. This increase is 
particularly noticeable in the towns and cities, where the growth 
of the Catholic population is remarkably rapid. 

In all the British dependencies, liberty, as understood by the 
British people, prevails; and, wherever it is held in honor and 
exercises its legitimate influence, religion nourishes. Contrast, 
for instance, Australia, when a penal colony, and when liberty 
was unknown with Australia, as it is to-day. In 1804 two priests 
were permitted, by the civil power, to perform the duties of 
their sacred office. Their labors sufficed for the very limited 
spiritual wants of the colony. By 1827 these wants had so 
slightly increased that two priests were still able to meet them all. 
[417] One of these was Dr. Ullathorne, now Bishop of Birmingham, 

assisted by another priest and a lay teacher. So late as 1842, 
matters were little better, Hobart-town having one priest, but 
no church. Australia, meanwhile, was growing in importance, 
and it came to possess, as became an important British colony, 
constitutional government. This was a new era for the cause 
of religion. Australia has now, 1880, two archbishoprics and 
ten other episcopal sees. In three of the dioceses, Melbourne, 
Sandhurst and Perth, there are no fewer than one hundred and 
thirty-five priests. 


Pius IX. And His Time. 4 1 7 

At the epoch of Independence, 1776, the number of Catholics 
in the new republic was estimated at twenty-five thousand. The 
spiritual wants of this comparatively small body were ministered 
to by nineteen priests, who were under the jurisdiction of the 
bishop Vicar- Apostolic of London, England. By 1790, the 
number of priests was doubled, and a bishop was appointed. In 
1 840, there were in the United States one million five hundred 
thousand Catholics. By 1855, they had grown to two millions. 
In the twenty-one years from 1855 to 1876 the increase was 
from two millions to six million five hundred thousand. This 
extraordinary growth, though rapid, was, nevertheless, vigorous 
and healthy. There was a corresponding increase in the numbers 
of the clergy, as well as of religious and educational institutions. 
For the instruction and spiritual comfort of so great a flock, there 
were, in 1879, no fewer than five thousand three hundred and 
fifty-eight priests, with fifty-six bishops and archbishops, five 
thousand and forty-six churches, three thousand seven hundred 
and eleven oratories and missionary stations. Religious houses 
have also increased in due proportion. In 1855, there were only 
fifteen religious houses for men in all the United States. There are 
now ninety-five. Communities of religious sisters, who chiefly 
devote themselves to works of charity and instruction, also 
flourish. In 1 855 there were only fifty such communities. There 
are now two hundred and twenty-five. Educational institutions [418] 
of a religious character also abound. In 1800, there was only one 
Catholic academy for girls in all the United States. At the present 
day they number more than four hundred. Catholic colleges have 
increased from two to sixty-four. 

The number of parochial schools is not so great, in proportion 
to the population, as in the Province of Quebec. This is accounted 
for by the still defective state of religious liberty in the United 
States. There is a sort of State fanaticism there in favor of common 
or national schools. Whilst Catholics cannot avail themselves 
of such institutions, which provide only a Godless education, 

418 Pius IX. And His Time 

they are, nevertheless, heavily taxed for their support. Being so 
burdened, it is surely much to the credit of the Catholics of the 
United States that they, in addition, support two thousand two 
hundred and forty-four parochial schools, besides six hundred and 
sixty-three colleges or academies, and twenty-four seminaries, 
for higher and ecclesiastical education. Notwithstanding the 
drawback alluded to, Pius IX. entertained a high idea of the 
North American Republic, and he showed that he did so when 
he declared that it was almost the only country wherein he could 
exercise, without hindrance, the duties of his sublime office. 
He further evinced his appreciation by raising several American 
bishops to the dignity of archbishop, and one to that of cardinal. 
The Archbishop of New York is the first American who has 
enjoyed the high position of cardinal. He was formally thanked 
for this well-merited honor by the President of the United States, 
and all America concurred in extolling the wisdom of the choice 
which gave the dignity to the Most Rev. Archbishop McCloskey, 
of New York. 


One of the latest labors of Pius IX. was that which he 
undertook, on the urgent request of the Catholics of Scotland, in 
connection with the restoration of the ancient Scottish hierarchy. 
The venerable Pontiff, now so far advanced in years, did not 
[419] live to complete this important work. The late reverend and 

learned Dr. Grant, President of the Scotch College at Rome, 
ceased not, meanwhile, to promote, as representing the Catholics 
of Scotland, the institution of the hierarchy. His knowledge of 
the country and historical research eminently qualified him for 
the task. The work, so happily commenced under the auspices 
of Pius IX., was brought to a conclusion soon after the accession 
of his successor, Leo XIII. The Most Rev. John Strain, well 
known as a sound theologian and eminently practical preacher, 
was appointed Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh. 
The learned prelate thus became the successor of the ancient 

Pius IX. And His Time. 4 1 9 

Archbishops of St. Andrews and Primate of Scotland. The 
other Episcopal Sees erected were Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dunkeld, 
Galloway, Argyll and the Isles. Glasgow, in consideration 
of its former honors, was made an archbishopric, but without 
suffragans. The archbishop is a member of the Synod of St. 
Andrews and Edinburgh. To the undying honor of the people 
of Scotland, there is nothing more to record. There were no 
commotions, no eloquent appeals for the purpose of allaying 
groundless fears and calming the popular mind, to burden the 
tale of the historian. An unsuccessful attempt at riot, by some 
rowdies, in a city of six hundred thousand souls, confirms rather 
than derogates from the absolute truth of this statement. 

There are already in the Archdiocese of St. Andrews and 
Edinburgh several important religions institutions. Among these 
may be mentioned four communities of religious sisters. The 
sisters, called "Ursulines of Jesus," have two establishments 
in the city of Edinburgh, and devote themselves entirely to 
education and charity. There are fifty-four churches, chapels 
and stations. The missions, properly so-called, are twenty- 
eight in number, and forty-three priests, of whom thirteen are 
members of religious societies, perform all the missionary duty 
and minister to the spiritual wants of the congregations. It 
cannot be said that education is neglected, and such education 
as recognizes religious principle; there being, in addition to the 
convent schools, thirty-six congregational or parochial schools. [420] 

In the Archdiocese of Glasgow, one hundred and twenty- 
one priests, of whom twenty-four are members of religious 
societies, attend to the spiritual wants of the missions and 
congregations. The Glasgow missions count fifty-nine, with 
seventy-eight churches, chapels and stations. The congregational 
or parochial schools number one hundred and eighty-six, in 
addition to religious educational institutions. 

Aberdeen has forty-seven priests, of whom seven are members 
of the Benedictine Order. It has thirty-two missions, with 

420 Pius IX. And His Time 

fifty-one churches, chapels and stations. Colleges, convents, 
and congregational schools, are in proportion to the Catholic 

Dunkeld contains within its borders the important seaport 
town of Dundee, and the ancient city of Perth, where may still be 
seen the Church of St. John, against which the Knox Iconoclasts 
cast the first stone — the sad prelude to their furious onslaught on 
all the sacred edifices of the land. At Dundee there is a numerous 
Catholic population. In the whole diocese there are thirty-three 
priests, of whom twelve are members of the religious Society 
of Redemptorists. There are religious communities of Sisters of 
Mercy, Little Sisters of the Poor, and Ursulines of Jesus. The 
Marist Brothers and Redemptorists have their monasteries, and 
there is a creditable number of congregational schools. 

The ancient See of Whithorn (Candidacasa) is now known as 
the diocese of Galloway. It dates from St. Ninian, the apostle 
of the Southern Picts, by whom it was founded in 397. It 
was destroyed in the time of the Scandinavian invasions, and 
remained extinct from 808 till 1189. It fell again at the epoch of 
the Reformation, and had no bishop from the death of Andrew 
Durie, in 1558, till the appointment of Bishop McLachlan by Leo 
XIII. The residence of the bishop is at Dumfries, where there is 
a numerous congregation and an elegant church. 

Argyll and the Isles is a diocese full of promise. The traditions 
[421] of its piety in ancient days are a rich inheritance. It has already 

thirty-eight churches, chapels and stations, together with some 
numerous congregations. 



About the time of the accession of Pius IX., the Catholic 
population of the world was estimated by scientific men at 
two hundred and fifty-four million six hundred and fifty-five 
thousand (see the Scientific Miscellany of the time). Since that 

Pius IX. And His Time. 421 

time there has been a very considerable increase. How great it 
has been we may judge from the statistics with which we are 
most familiar, those of Great Britain and the British Colonies, 
as well as those of the United States of America. The eminent 
statisticians, Drs. Behm and Wagner, hold that the number of 
Protestants has more than doubled in the same period. Some 
thirty-five years ago, according to the Scientific Miscellany, the 
Protestant population of the world was forty-eight million nine 
hundred and eighty-nine thousand. Without saying that the 
learned men alluded to are wrong in estimating them now at 
one hundred and one million, it may be claimed that Catholics 
have enjoyed at least as great an increase. The tendency of the 
latter, in the present age, is to spread and to spread rapidly, 
whilst among Protestants, according to their own ablest writers, 
there exists no such expansive power. An opinion prevails 
among those who are not friendly to the Catholic Church, that 
such an institution can only take root and grow in an age of 
ignorance, or among ignorant people. This opinion enjoys not 
the sanction of the most distinguished Protestant authors and 
preachers. Baron Macaulay writes: "We often hear it said that 
the world is constantly becoming more and more enlightened, 
and that the enlightenment must be favorable to Protestantism 
and unfavorable to Catholicism. We wish that we could think so. 
But we see great reason to doubt whether this is a well-founded 
expectation. We see that during the last two hundred and fifty 
years the human mind has been in the highest degree active; 
that it has made great advances in every branch of natural [422] 
philosophy; that it has produced innumerable inventions, tending 
to promote the convenience of life; that medicine, surgery, 
chemistry, engineering, have been very greatly improved; that 
government, police and law, have been improved, though not 
to so great an extent as the physical sciences. Yet we see that 
during these two hundred and fifty years Protestantism has made 
no conquests worth speaking of. Nay, we believe that as far 

422 Pius IX. And His Time 

as there has been change, that change has been in favor of the 
Church of Rome. We cannot, therefore, feel confident that the 
progress of knowledge will necessarily be fatal to a system which 
has, to say the least, stood its ground in spite of the immense 
progress made by the human race in knowledge since the time of 
Queen Elizabeth." If, then, Protestantism, as regards increase and 
development, has been at a stand-still for the last two 13 hundred 
and fifty years, whilst it is admitted on all hands that Catholicism 
has been growing rapidly, it is not, surely, unreasonable to claim 
that the increase of Catholics keeps pace with that of Protestants. 
The claim, however, must be waived, as it would give a greater 
expansion to the Catholic Church than Catholics can suppose it 
is entitled to. If the number of Catholics had doubled within the 
last five-and-thirty or forty years, as that of Protestants is alleged 
by the learned statisticians to have done, they would now count 
five hundred and nine million three hundred thousand. Behm 
[423] and Wagner estimate them at two hundred and seventy million. 

Judging by the facts alluded to, this estimate is certainly below 
the mark, and we shall still be considered as determining for a 
low figure when we reckon the Catholic population of the whole 
world at three hundred million. 

The heathen masses are still the most numerous. But, if the 
statement recently made by the Secretary of the Chinese Legation, 

13 The late celebrated preacher, Dr. Cumming, also admitted the expansive 
power which is characteristic of the Catholic Church. And in doing so, he bore 
witness to its actual growth in his time. In a lecture delivered at Brentford, 
England, in 1860, he said: "He would do the priests of the Church of Rome the 
justice to say that a more earnest, energetic, a more industrious body he did 
not know in any portion of our church; they were laboring incessantly for what 
they believed to be the truth, and he would that he could say without success, 
but he was sorry to say with great success. He saw going over to the Church 
of Rome a section of the nobility and many ministers of our church. These 
were well instructed, and ought to have known better. In England, account for 
it as they could, it had made progress to such an extent, during the last twenty 
years, that it had doubled its churches and doubled its priests." — Lecture at 
Brentford. England, 1860. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 423 

at Washington, may be relied on, they are not overwhelmingly 
so. This statement reduces the population of China from the 
fabulous number of four hundred million to one hundred million. 
It is not, surely, reasonable to suppose, as the world has so long 
supposed, that one nation, China, has a population double that 
of all the nations of India. The whole heathen world, therefore, 
cannot count more than six hundred and fifty million souls — too 
many to be still in darkness and the shadow of death. But let 
each believer labor to convert a heathen, and there will be light 
at last. The believing portion of mankind is not so far behind, in 
point of numbers, at least. It consists of (according to Drs. Behm 
and Wagner): 

300,000,000 Catholics. 
90,000,000 members of the Greek Church. 
101,000,000 Protestants. 
7,000,000 Jews. 


The 3rd of June, 1877, was a great day for Rome and the 
Catholic world. Of all the fetes which Plus IX. was favored 
to celebrate, there was none more honored than the anniversary 
of his episcopal consecration. One would say that the faithful 
Catholic people everywhere had resolved to make it an occasion 
of protesting against the treatment to which the venerable Pontiff 
was subjected, and the false principles which governed the Italian 
faction, by which he was so cruelly persecuted. Pilgrims came 
from all lands and crowded the streets of the Papal city; for 
such it still was. Notwithstanding all the efforts of the usurping 
government, the Roman people acknowledged no other ruler at 
Rome than the Holy Father. During six months of the year 1 877, [424] 
the devoted Catholics of every nation ceased not to throng the 
streets, the approaches to and from the halls of the Vatican Palace. 
Nor did they come empty-handed. They were literally laden with 
gold and silver, together with an endless variety of other rich 

424 Pius IX. And His Time 

and appropriate gifts. A month before the anniversary day, 
there were already five hundred chalices, as well as other church 
plate, jewellery, vestments, altar linens, etc., deposited in the 
Vatican. An eye-witness beheld these precious offerings suitably 
laid out in one of the largest galleries, forming an immense 
treasury, from which the benevolent Pontiff supplied the poorer 
missions throughout the world. Congratulatory addresses were 
constantly presented, and Pius IX. was indefatigable in receiving 
these proofs of the faith and love of his spiritual children. Day 
after day he made replies to deputations, and often, four times 
a day without appearing fatigued or giving any sign that his 
bodily strength or vigor of mind was failing him. Day after 
day, throughout the whole summer of 1877, the faithful people 
ceased not to astonish the new masters of Rome, who flattered 
themselves with the belief that faith was dead in the world, and 
would no longer be an impediment to their domination. They 
beheld pilgrims from every clime in vast numbers, of which 
they could form no estimate. They also heard their voice, and 
wondered at their admirable unanimity. "All of us, whoever we 
are, Christians of every nation and of every tongue," said the 
Bishop of Poitiers, speaking in the name of his fellow-Catholics, 
"we have all been brought here by the desire, the necessity we 
are under, to offer our tribute of regret and love to the venerated 
Pontiff, whom the whole world honors with all the veneration 
of filial duty. After having placed at his feet our presents and 
our respectful homage, we come to offer, in this sanctuary, 
our thanksgiving and our prayers — our thanksgiving, for Pius 
IX. has been preserved to us beyond the term of all preceding 
Pontificates — our prayers for his remaining in this life is, at 
[425] present, our only pledge of safety." 14 

On occasion of the memorable anniversary, Pius IX. 
proclaimed a jubilee, and thus afforded to all his children 

14 Discourse delivered in the Church of St. Peter ad vincula, 1st June, 1877, 
by the Bishop of Poitiers. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 425 

throughout the universe an opportunity of uniting with those of 
Rome in one common prayer and act of thanksgiving. Numberless 
communions, in every Catholic land, on the very day of the 
anniversary — 3rd June — bore witness to the lively faith which 
universally prevailed, and made it plain as noon-day to the 
unbelieving that the body of the Church is united by the bond of 
charity, even as is the family by the ties of blood. The power 
of such a celebration was widely felt. And the revolutionists of 
Italy believed that something must be done in order to counteract 
its influence. They could not propose, as they had done six 
years before on occasion of the anniversary of Pius the Ninth's 
exaltation to the Popedom, to display on all the public edifices 
of Rome the flag of revolutionized Italy in fraternal union with 
that of the Pontiff and the Church. It must, therefore, be unfurled 
in direct opposition to the cause of the Holy Father. A festive 
commemoration of the "constitutional statute" was ordered to 
be held on the 3rd June, the day of the Papal celebration. The 
scheme proved to be more than a failure. It was intended as an 
insult to the Pope and protest against the Christian faith. In reality 
it became a testimony which redounded to the honor of the Holy 
Father and the glory of religion. What cared the Romans, or the 
people of the Roman territory, for the "constitutional statute" of 
Charles Albert? Their vivats were all for Pius IX. and his more 
constitutional constitution. 

"Long live Pius IX.! — Pius IX., our only King!" No other 
cry was heard in the streets of Rome, or in the wide campagna. 
The populations of the country as well as of the city were alike 
devoted to Pius IX., and would have no other to rule over them. 
The usurping revolutionists must needs retaliate. In doing so, 
they still more degraded their fete of the "constitutional statute." 

On occasion of royal fetes, favors are liberally dispensed. 
This order of things was now reversed. Parties convicted of [426] 
illuminating their houses, of displaying white and yellow colors, 
or of expressing in words their loyalty to Pius IX. , were sentenced 

426 Pius IX. And His Time 

to imprisonment. 


Shortly before the anniversary celebration, Pius IX. had to 
lament the death of his faithful Secretary of State, Cardinal 
Antonelli. This intrepid statesman had done battle courageously 
during six-and-twenty years for the Church, the Holy See and 
the temporal sovereignty of the Roman Pontiff, who had been 
threatened in his life, his priestly honor and his character for 
integrity. The devoted cardinal defied both the poniard and the 
tongue of the calumniator. Although able to unmask the most 
secret intrigues of the revolutionists, he could not avert the blow 
which it was permitted that they should strike against the time- 
honored institutions of his country. They appear to have been 
destined to reign for a time. Their success did not appal Antonelli 
nor shake his fidelity. In evil report and good report he stood by 
his sovereign, and shared his exile as well as the honor which he 
enjoyed in the more auspicious days of his glorious Pontificate. 

Three weeks later, Cardinal Patrizi, who was Vicar of Rome 
and chief counsellor of Pius IX. in all matters connected with the 
government of the church, was called from this earthly scene. 
Thus was the aged Pontiff destined to be tried by new afflictions. 
The success of his enemies and of the enemies of the Church, 
the privation and humiliation to which he was subjected, were 
rendered more severe by the death of his dearest friends who 
were also his ablest supporters. He was grieved, but could not 
be crushed by so many calamities. He remained until his health 
[427] utterly failed equal to his high position. 

An additional cause of sorrow to the Holy Father was the 
enactment of the Italian Legislature, known as the Mancini law. 
This law was in downright opposition to the law of guarantees . It 
made it a crime to preach the Gospel. On pretence of repressing 
the abuses of the clergy, their offences against the laws and 
institutions of the State, it forbade all apostolic preaching. It 
was too late. Nero, even, was not in time, and all the fury of 

Pius IX. And His Time. 427 

persecution could not uproot the belief in virtue which prevailed. 
The clergy shall no longer say that fraud, robbery, lying, violence 
and assassination are sins. But cui bono? The world has already 
its convictions — prejudices, the philosophy of Kulturkampf may 
call them — in regard to all such things, and no law that an infidel 
parliament can enact will suffice to eradicate them. It could 
only sadden the heart of the Chief Pastor to see the power which 
ruled in his country and in his stead laboring so strenuously but 
ineffectually to demolish the edifice of the church, which, for 
so many ages, had been assailed in vain. It was the height of 
presumption, surely, when a few modern Italians, a miserable 
minority of their own nation, undertook a task which defied all 
the power of Imperial Rome. In a country where liberty is better 
understood, a powerful voice was raised in condemnation of the 
Mancini law. The British Catholic Union protested against the 
cruel enactment as an attack not only on the liberty of the Church 
but also on the very existence of the Christian faith in Italy. This 
purpose was, indeed, avowed by many of its supporters in the 
Italian parliament. 

Pius IX. could not fail to protest against such an attack on that 
liberty which is the birthright of every Christian. In a Consistorial 
Allocution of 12th March, 1877, he exposed the plot which the 
revolutionists had prepared in order to prevent the Holy Father 
from accomplishing his appointed mission — that of instructing 
and edifying the whole flock of Christ. That his protest was 
fully justified and demanded by the circumstances of the case 
was abundantly shown by the rage which it excited among the 
ruling faction. Their press did its best to dissemble, and affected [428] 
to treat with contempt the Pope's address. It contained only 
"lame and doubtful reasonings — such arguments as are termed 
paralogisms or involuntary sophisms, which escape the notice of 
their authors." The government, in unison with the press, sought 
to stifle the importunate voice of the Pontiff. The council of 
ministers went so far as to resolve on prosecuting any journals 

428 Pius IX. And His Time 

that should dare to publish the Papal allocution. But they found 
it was too late. The obnoxious document was already printed in 
France, and, consequently, open to the civilized world. So the 
wrath of the ministry was allowed to cool. It sought, nevertheless, 
to be revenged. The minister of justice, accordingly, addressed 
a circular to the procurators-general, in which he denounced 
the language of Pius IX. as "excessive and violent." The Pope 
himself he railed was a factious person, as a fomenter of sedition 
and revolt. He also charged him with ingratitude. For what was 
he ungrateful? Had they not robbed him of his sovereignty and 
his property? Did they not now hold him closely guarded in the 
Vatican? They spared his life, indeed, but made him understand 
that he was their prisoner, as, in reality, he was. To have gone 
farther would have been to outrage all Italy, which they were so 
anxious to conciliate, and the great Powers, whose forbearance 
they so much needed. Cardinal Simeoni, who had succeeded 
Antonelli as Secretary of State, in a circular addressed to the 
Papal nuncios, pointed out the weakness and gross injustice 
of Mancini's letter. The secret societies, on the other hand, 
congratulated their most dear and most active brother, and 
expressed the hope that he would not stop until he reached the 
end to which he so nobly tended. The minister of justice fully 
acceded to the wishes of the brethren, and they could rely upon 
it that he would persevere until he compassed the destruction 
of the Papacy. Such good resolutions deserved a reward. They 
[429] awarded him, accordingly, what they called a diploma of honor. 

The Mancini law, notwithstanding all the efforts of its 
supporters, never became law. There is not much in this history 
to be placed to the credit of Victor Emmanuel. Nevertheless, he, 
all of a sudden, opposed the enactment of the odious law which 
he had allowed to be prepared and presented in his name to the 
representative chamber. By expressing his repugnance to it, he 
caused it to fail in the Senate. It is related that it was on the 
representation of his daughter, the Princess Clotilde, that he so 

Pius IX. And His Time. 429 



One of the most daring enterprises of the Italian ministry 
was their scheme, in conjunction with the Prussian chancellor, 
for the election of a Pope on the demise of Pius IX. Hitherto, 
when the Popes enjoyed their temporal sovereignty, the Cardinal 
Camerlingo, or high chamberlain, directed everything from the 
time of the Pope's decease until the election of a successor. It was 
the purpose of the ministry to arrogate to themselves the attributes 
of this high dignitary, who acted, temporarily, as the Sovereign 
of Rome. For the attainment of their end, fraud, lying and forgery 
were freely had recourse to. It being understood that there existed 
a Bull relating to the election of Pius the Ninth's successor, and 
that it was in the custody of Mgr. Mercurelli, the Secretary of 
Pontifical briefs, a high price was offered to any one who should 
treacherously deliver it into the hands of the revolutionists. Such 
a temptation was not to be resisted. A cunning scribe, who could 
imitate the handwriting of Mercurelli, made a copy of an ancient 
Bull of Pius VI., adapting it to the circumstances of the time. To 
the great confusion of the astute chancellor and his associates, 
the Italian ministers, the forgery was discovered, and the sage 
statesmen befooled in the sight of all Europe by a common felon. 
Nothing, however, was to be left undone that was calculated, as 
the conspirators conceived, to secure the election of a Pope who 
would reject the decisions of the Vatican Council. For this end it 
was proposed to take military possession of the Vatican Palace, [430] 
and appoint a commissioner to superintend the election and carry 
out the views of the faction. This iniquitous plot appears to have 
been overthrown by a vigorous article which was published in 
the Osservatore Romano. It is said to have been inspired by Pius 
IX. It stated, among other things, that "the Vatican changes not 
with the changes of the times, and the Lord, who has protected it 
in the past, and given visible proofs of His continued protection, 
will protect it in the future, and defend it against all, whatever 

430 Pius IX. And His Time 

artifices, whether secret or open, its enemies may employ, in 
order to conquer and overthrow it." The revolutionary journals, 
whose constant cry was "war to the knife" on the Church and the 
Papacy, could not refrain from expressing their astonishment, 
it ought to be said their admiration, of this masterly document. 
"It is impossible," said the Republique Francaise of 28th July, 
1877, "not to be struck by the tone of authority, the vehemence 
and the menaces, the ardent and deep-rooted faith which prevail 
from beginning to end of this extraordinary production." 


In the autumn of 1877, the health of Pius IX. began to fail. 
He caught cold and had a renewal of rheumatic attacks. He 
was obliged, in consequence, to discontinue giving audiences. 
Finally, by the advice of his physicians, he kept his bed 
continuously for three weeks, from 20th November. The Pope's 
indisposition appears to have been quite a God-send to the ever- 
busy press of the hostile faction. There were, of course, spasms, 
fainting fits, mortification of the extremities, etc. The Pope is 
dying — the Pope is dead! — and the enemy rejoiced, as over a 
hard-won victory. But the end was not yet. The Holy Father 
recovered, and was able to hold a Consistory and deliver an 
allocution on the 28th of December. 

There was one at Rome who felt differently from the party 
with whom he acted in regard to the illness and possible death of 
the Pope. This was no other than King Victor Emmanuel. The 
[431] dethroned Pontiff was still a power that helped to stem the tide 

of red republican revolution which rolled so angrily against the 
tottering throne of united Italy. The barrier was in danger. Only 
the slender thread of an exhausted life saved it from giving way. 
The king was awe-struck, and sought comfort in the Palace of 
the Vatican. 15 

La Captivite de Pie IX. par Alexander de St. Albin. Paris, 1878. Pages 513 
and 514. 

Pius IX. And His Time. 43 1 

What passed at the extraordinary interview none will ever 
know. All that can be found on record is that the King of Italy 
retired with a lightened heart from the mansion of the Sovereign 
Pontiff. Pardon, benediction, renewal of promises — what may 
there not have been? That the meeting was not without result, an 
event which was not at that time far distant clearly shows. 

The restoration of Pius IX. to comparative health was matter 
for thanksgiving and congratulation. A consistory was held, 
accordingly, on the 28th of December, 1877. The cardinals 
having assembled, the Holy Father thus addressed them: "We 
rejoice in the Lord at having experienced how faithfully you 
sustain the burden of the apostolic ministry; and, at the same 
time, for having enjoyed the sweet consolation to find the sorrows 
of our soul alleviated by your virtue and the constant affection 
of your charity." The venerable Pontiff concluded this address, 
which was destined to be his last in solemn consistory, by 
inviting the members of the Sacred College "to offer up their 
prayers assiduously to the throne of Divine mercy for himself and 
for the Church," representing that the strength of Christians is in 
prayer, in the power of God, which the prayer of His creature, 
made in his image, causes to be exerted. And who is stronger 
than God? Quis ut Deus? 

The aged Pontiff, whom the revolutionists of Italy and other 
countries cried out against with such vehemence of hatred and 
malediction, asked no other favor for himself of the Supreme 
Giver than the pleasure to impart once more his benediction from 
the Vatican to the city and the whole world. On occasion of some 
foreign ladies resident at Rome coming to present him with a 
rich canopy for decorating the Vatican lodge, at the benediction [432] 
he gave utterance to the following prayer: "Lend new strength, 
O Lord, to Thy Vicar on earth; give new vigor to his voice and 
to his arm, in order that, in the present crisis, it may be permitted 
him, as a sign of reconciliation and peace to bless once more 
solemnly the whole Catholic people, and that thus, through Thy 

432 Pius IX. And His Time 

assistance, society may be restored to a state of tranquillity and 
the practice of all the Christian virtues." He adored, without 
knowing it, the Divine will, which was not that he should ever 
again impart his apostolic benediction from the Vatican. This he 
knew not, and could not pretend to know. But he was comforted 
in the firm belief that the benediction would never cease to be 
dispensed. On the same day, he said, addressing the Roman 
ladies who presented a carpet for the solemn benediction: "At 
this time of darkness and tribulation, when we are in the power of 
our enemies, you may say to me: 'We have exerted ourselves so 
much, we have offered up so many prayers, shed so many tears, 
and, notwithstanding, all to no purpose.' The time will come 
when this present will be made use of. Tota node laborantes.... 
The Romans have, indeed, prayed. They have given signal proof 
of their fidelity and their piety, amid the gloom and trouble of 
our national catastrophes, and why have they, as yet, obtained 
nothing? But what do I say? Are those evidences of affection 
which every day reach the Holy See to be reputed as nothing? Is 
that earnestness of prayer which prevails at Rome and throughout 
the Catholic world to no purpose? In the most desert regions 
and remotest countries vows and prayers are offered up for 
our deliverance. Your prayers and communions are so many 
petitions, laid at the foot of the altar, which cannot fail to be 
heard. As our Lord, who was pleased to show Peter where to cast 
his nets, in order to have an abundant draught of fish, teaches us 
also how we shall escape from the abyss of calamity into which 
our sins, perhaps, have thrown us.... Although I, who, at present, 
am the Vicar of Christ, may not, one of my successors will, see 
[433] Rome, which is our city, restored to its pristine state, tranquil 

and flourishing as it was some months ago. He will also behold 
all the rights of this Holy See completely recovered." 

By one of two things only, as far as man can see, is it possible 
that Italy should be emancipated from its present bondage, and 
governed according to the wishes of its people. A constitutional 

Pius IX. And His Time. 433 

monarchy, such as Pius IX. sought so long to establish, would be 
the most secure and permanent guarantee for peace and liberty in 
the south of Europe. A remedy for present evils may also be found 
in a thoroughly representative system of government, which the 
system that prevails for the moment in Italy has no claim to be. 
There cannot, however, be representative government so long as 
the Italian people allow a reckless faction, which is only a small 
minority of the nation, to control the elections, monopolize the 
votes, and constitute themselves the legislature of the country. 
Patience is a virtue. But it may be abused. It certainly has been 
so in the case of Italy, and by a base conspiracy. When will the 
people arise in their might, and, by their immense superiority 
in numbers as well as intelligence, cast off the yoke of the 
conspirators — the incubus which crushes and degrades them in 
the eyes of mankind? 



On the 29th December, 1877, King Victor Emmanuel came to 
Rome on business of the State, as if the city of the Popes were 
de jure as well as de facto his capital. On the 31st of the same 
month, his ministers induced him to affix his royal signature to 
some new acts of brigandage and usurpation, which they had 
prepared, but which could not be accomplished until the death of 
Pius IX. At the same time, a decree regulating the funeral of the 
Pope was drawn up and signed by the king. Royal honors were to 
be restored, but only when they could not be enjoyed. The Holy 
Father, although stripped of his sovereignty in life, was to be 
honored when dead as a sovereign prince. It was appointed that 
mourning should be worn throughout all the Kingdom of Italy. 
Court liveries, even, were got ready, and also the minutest details 
of mourning apparel. Nothing was wanting but death — and [434] 
death came — but not the death that was so ardently desired. 
Scarcely had Victor Emmanuel signed the funeral decree, which 

434 Pius IX. And His Time 

was intended to be, at the same time, the death-warrant of the 
Papacy and the Church, when he was taken suddenly ill. He was 
anxious to leave Rome, where his stay was always as short as 
possible, but was detained by the receptions of New Year's day, 
and in order to attend a diplomatic dinner on the 6th of January. 
On that very day, a three-fold malady laid him on his deathbed. 
He became at once the victim of pleuro-pneumonia, together 
with the fatal malaria and miliary fevers. There was no hope of 
his recovery. To leave Rome was impossible. "Carry me hence, 
at any rate," cried the dying king, in an agony of horror; "I must 
not die at the Quirinal." It was too late. The physicians would 
not allow him to be moved. Unhallowed force placed him in the 
sacred palace of the Conclave. Greater force held him there. The 
prince who said, "We are at Rome and at Rome we shall remain," 
was doomed to die at Rome. After death, too, he must remain at 
Rome, notwithstanding the wishes of all his kindred and of his 
son and successor. The new king expressed to a deputation of 
the municipality of Turin with what pain he made the sacrifice 
which policy required. The policy of the revolutionary faction 
would not allow Victor Emmanuel to have his last resting-place 
with his ancestors at the Superga. Policy forbade that death even 
should liberate him who was called the liberator of Italy. Policy 
hoped to perpetuate usurpation, by holding the usurper in the 
usurped capital. The dead king remained in death, as he had ever 
been in life, the captive of the faction. 

As soon as Pius IX. became aware of the critical state of 
King Victor Emmanuel, he sent to him his own chaplain, Bishop 
Marinelli, with full authority to reconcile the dying monarch to 
the church on his expressing repentance and retracting. This 
dignitary went thrice to the palace, and was as often repelled by 
the watchful ministers, who strictly guarded the person of the 
king. They dreaded lest so public a retractation as he was, at 
the time, able to make, and as would have been required, should 
[435] prove injurious to their schemes. Later, when there was no 

Pius IX. And His Time. 435 

hope of recovery, anxious that the king should have the credit of 
being at peace with the Church, they allowed his own chaplain, 
the Rev. Signor Azenio, to approach his bed-side. This worthy 
priest, being fully authorized, heard the confession of King 
Victor Emmanuel, and administered to him the Sacraments of the 
Church. As the most Holy Sacrament was borne to the monarch's 
deathbed, Prince Humbert, Princess Margaret, and, together 
with them, ten ministers and dignitaries of the Court, bearing 
lighted torches, accompanied the priest: and as Victor Emmanuel 
received the Viaticum and Extreme Unction, they all fell upon 
their knees. (9th January, 1878.) This conclusion, so consoling 
to the departing soul, was gall and wormwood to the worldly 
ministers. The founder of United Italy, before he could have the 
benefit of the last sacred rites, prayed to be pardoned all his crimes 
against the Sovereign Pontiff and the Church. By acknowledging 
and condemning his faults, he also condemned the unhallowed 
work which was forwarded by so much usurpation and sacrilege. 
The Christian-like end of Victor Emmanuel did not meet the 
views of the ministers. (Osservatore Romano of 10th January.) 
Accordingly, they endeavored immediately to lessen its effect on 
the public mind. Their journals, unable to deny the truth, even 
acknowledging the benefit they had by the king's confession and 
communion, cunningly labored to counteract the same by the 
grossest misrepresentation. They related that the king, at the 
moment of his death, had spoken both as a Christian and an 
infidel revolutionist. They made him thus retract his retractation. 
"In all that I have done, I am conscious of having always fulfilled 
my duties as a citizen and a prince, and of having done nothing 
against the religion of my ancestors." As his conscience was thus 
at ease, for what did he beg pardon of the Sovereign Pontiff and 
the Church? Of what could he repent who acknowledged no sin? 

L'Osservatore Romano, in reply, reiterated all that it had 
already stated on the highest authority. "Let there be an end, 
once for all," said this excellent journal, "to the profane language 

436 Pius IX. And His Time 

which dares rashly to intervene between the dying man and his 
[436] God, of whom the priest is the representative. The Church, 

appealed to on so short a notice, and in the awful hour of the 
death agony, mercifully extends her hand to him who is about to 
approach the presence of the Sovereign Judge, and opens to him, 
as far as possible, the way of salvation; but she strictly sees to it 
that her holy laws be fully observed." Policy makes laws which 
it violates as easily as it makes them. The Church can never 
break her laws, which are of Divine origin. Victor Emmanuel, 
accordingly, must have submitted to the laws of the Church, in 
order to be reconciled to the Church, to Pius IX. and to God. 

At the death of the king the revolutionists were struck with 
consternation. "Victor Emmanuel is no more!" said the Liberta, 
"and Italy is like a warrior without his sword." They all felt 
as if the edifice which they had raised were falling to pieces. 
They took no blame to themselves, however. They ascribed not 
to their folly or their wickedness the danger which threatened 
them. "God is unjust," said one of the party, as he announced 
to the Romans the king's death. Considering the term of human 
life, it was no doubt unjust, to remove from this world a man 
at the advanced age of eight-and-fifty years! Another, as the 
remains of the "father of his country" were borne to the Pantheon, 
blasphemously exclaimed: "That everlasting Pantheon! so long 
the altar of inanimate gods — now the temple of a hostile Deityl" 

Although Pius IX., with his usual goodness and consistency, 
authorized the clergy to take part in the funeral of the deceased 
king, thus according what was due to the honor of a Christian who 
had been reconciled to God and the Church, the ceremony which, 
otherwise, would have been so solemn, was sadly marred by 
processions of secret societies, Grand Orients and Garibaldians, 
which followed the funeral car to the Church of St. Mary of the 
Martyrs. 16 

16 That was the Pantheon, or temple of all the Gods. It is now the Church 
called 5/. Mary of the Martyrs (See Maria; ad Martyres). 

Pius IX. And His Time. 437 

The Pantheon was not too grand for so great a king. It was 
only fitting that he who had lent himself to the baleful work of 
paganizing modern Rome should have his final resting-place in 
the temple that was so long sacred to Rome's heathen deities. [437] 

The Holy Father had so well recovered from his illness, and 
his health was so good during the months of December and 
January, 1877-78, that he was able to transact business daily with 
the cardinals, heads of congregations and other prelates. It was 
for him the revival — the lucid interval — which so often precedes 
the final scene. Notwithstanding the pompous obsequies which 
the late king had prepared for Pius IX., the venerable Pontiff 
still lived, and was able to protest against the pretensions of the 
successor of that king, and to defend against his usurpation the 
Church and her inalienable rights. The proclamation of King 
Humbert was met by a protest addressed to all the Powers from 
the Cardinal-Secretary of State, and Pius IX. himself raised his 
voice in order to vindicate publicly those writers who had spoken 
the truth concerning the deceased prince. The whole world was 
moved by the solicitude of the Holy Father in laboring so as 
that Victor Emmanuel should die as became a Christian, and 
in providing that his funeral should be conducted according to 
the consoling ceremonial of the Church. It now became his 
duty to take care lest the irreconcilable enemies of religion 
should succeed in availing themselves of these circumstances 
in order to deceive and induce mankind to believe that the 
Godless revolution was in sympathy with Pius IX. and the 
Church. The venerable Pontiff was still able to take to task the 
indiscreet writers who, from mistaken zeal, maintained that such 
an incongruous coalition had taken place or was possible. 

A very great number of people of all ranks conceived the 
happy idea of celebrating the seventy-fifth anniversary of Pius the 
Ninth's first communion. This afforded another great occasion 
for uniting in prayer all over the wide extent of the Catholic 
Church. The fete occurred on the 2nd of February, "Candlemas 

438 Pius IX. And His Time 

day," or the purification of the Blessed Virgin. The Holy Father 
was able, all exhausted as he was, to leave his couch, celebrate 
Mass, and even repair to the throne-room of the Vatican, where 
he performed the ceremony of distributing blessed tapers to the 
cardinals, bishops and heads of religious orders. He spoke also 
with his accustomed eloquence to those whom it gave him so 
much pleasure to see gathered around him. He addressed himself 
[438] particularly to the parish priests of Rome, recommending above 

all things to their pastoral solicitude, the children of the city who 
bore so important a part in the celebration of the anniversary. He 
expatiated on the value of Christian education, and exhorted the 
pastors to stir up the zeal of parents. His apostolate had begun 
with children in the happy days of Tata Giovanni. It was only 
fitting that his last exhortation should be all in their interest and 
for their happiness. 

All, in expressing his gratitude for the prayers that were offered 
in his behalf, he asked was that they should be continued, hoping 
always "that He who had commenced a good work would not fail 
to bring it to a successful termination." But it is not given to man 
to complete or perfect anything in this life; and that pontificate 
of thirty-two years, which was still more astonishing by its acts 
and labors than by its long duration, was destined to leave its 
good work incomplete. It will be continued, nevertheless, and 
men will be made to understand that it is not alone Mastai's 
work, or any man's work, but the cause of Him who guides, with 
irresistible power, the destinies of mankind. 

Pius IX., however, had accomplished his appointed task. He 
had celebrated, and with a wonderful renewal of health, his last 
festival and his last anniversary. Four days later, in the evening 
of the 6th February, he was seized with a slight attack of fever, 
which caused no alarm. It was the prelude, however, to more 
serious attacks, which shortly succeeded one another in rapid 
succession till the moment of his death. At four o'clock in 
the morning a potion was administered, in order to soothe the 

Pius IX. And His Time. 439 

feverish agitation of the patient. Its good effect was only of short 
duration. As his physician entered, "this time," said he, "my dear 
doctor, all is over." He did not share the hopes of those who 
attended the celebration of Candlemas day. He understood that 
his last hour on earth was near at hand, and he requested that the 
Holy Viaticum and Extreme Unction should be administered. 

As soon as the doleful tidings reached the city, the people 
were bid to prayer by a general ringing of the bells. Great 
numbers of the faithful sought the approaches to the Vatican. 
Many entered and crowded the halls and ante-chambers of the 
palace, offering up their prayers, with abundance of tears, as [439] 
Bishop Marinelli, whom, only one month before, Pius IX. had 
sent to assist King Victor Emmanuel, conveyed the Viaticum 
to the chamber of death and administered the Sacraments. As 
the malady increased it attacked the lungs (not the brain, as 
the infidel newspapers falsely represented), 17 rendering difficult 
and painful the breathing of the patient. Nevertheless, Pius IX. 
calmly and distinctly repeated the prayers for the dying, which 
Cardinal Bilio had begun to recite. At the end of the Act of 
Contrition, he said, with great hu